US Consumers Urge Retailers to Protect Financial Information

Some 94 percent of consumers say retailers should improve security systems to protect financial information, and 70 percent say retailers should install EMV chip-enabled card readers as soon as possible, according to a survey by the American Bankers Association.

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Nearly 80 percent of consumers said the government should hold retailers, banks and other companies involved in the payments system to the same security standards as financial institutions. When asked where cardholders feel most vulnerable to fraud following a credit card purchase, 64 percent say they are most concerned about hackers breaking into retailers’ computer systems, compared to just 16 percent who cite physical card theft and 13 percent who cite “phishing” scams.

Some 88 percent of respondents believe it is important for credit card companies to prioritize development of dynamic payment technologies to stay ahead of evolving criminal threats. Dynamic technologies – such as tokenization used in mobile wallets like Apple Pay – generate new information for every credit card transaction, rendering stolen financial information useless, authors of the study say.

Consumers also continue to value zero-liability policies offered by financial institutions, with 81 percent of respondents saying they value not being liable for fraudulent charges on their cards.

“Millions of Americans have had their most sensitive information compromised in retailer data breaches, so it’s understandable that consumers are concerned that retailers aren’t doing more to prevent future hacking incidents,” said Doug Johnson, ABA’s senior vice president of payments and cybersecurity policy.

Financial services companies have admitted they have the most urgent need for safer payment methods as their clients demand privacy, security and convenience in all transactions, according to FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, which groups more than 200 companies and government agencies, including financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, among others. Some of them have tried to solve problems users face in creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords by introducing new security protocols.

The survey of 1,006 U.S. adults was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, Sept. 28-30, 2015.

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