85% consumers want to know how e-commerce will protect personal data before buying

85% consumers want to know how e-commerce will protect personal data before buying

Over three-quarters (84%) of consumers said the security of a payment facility offered on a merchant website was the top reason they would choose to pay online with their cards rather than Cash on Delivery (COD), according to the 2022 Stay Secure survey – conducted jointly by the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) in Dubai and Visa. Guarantees their payment data would be protected was second (64%) while the price of goods or services was the least important consideration (17%) for choosing a payment option. 

The same trend was also observed in-store, wherein consumers ranked the security of the merchant’s payment facility (65%) as the top factor when considering digital payment options to pay for goods and services. Guarantees and return policies (49%) were second and safety and hygiene (45%) was third.  Three out of four consumers surveyed have made a digital payment in the last month and nearly half of respondents are using more digital payments in stores – especially contactless – and online since COVID-19.

The majority of consumers (79%) said they would switch stores or online shopping sites and apps, based on the payment methods offered, with most consumers indicating a strong preference for digital payments over cash. The survey found that 34% of consumers prefer using cash for tipping at hotels, restaurants or tourist locations and utilities. 

And while the majority of consumers (70%) say they are confident about recognising a fraud or scam, a third surveyed in the UAE still struggle in this area.

What merchants can do  

A majority (85%) of respondents want to know how their personal information will be handled and protected before providing it to an e-commerce site. Additionally, about three-quarters stated that they would like to know how security technology works to be able to trust digital payment methods in general, reinforcing the importance of consumer education by payment industry stakeholders – financial institutions, payments companies and governments to build consumer trust in digital payments.

Merchants can take the following steps to increase consumer trust and improve the payment experience: disclosing measures to protect consumers’ personal information, providing clear information about guarantees and refund options and displaying logos/symbols of banking and payment partners. 

“Consumers value security more than price when it comes to how their personal data is handled. These are important insights for merchants looking to build and maintain consumer trust in their payment offerings,” said Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa. “And the fact that a third of consumers are still unable to identify a potential fraud reinforces the need for all players in the payments ecosystem to continue to work together to ensure consumers are protected. Now in its seventh year, our Stay Secure campaign continues to be an important platform for Visa, Dubai Police and the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai to help educate consumers about payment security and support merchants in meeting the increasing need for secure, seamless digital payments both in-store and online.”

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