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Local consumers tend to approach their issuing banks first for advice when coming across fraud

October 13, 2015 Business News No Comments Email Email

Despite the convenience of electronic payments nowadays, safety and security are always top concerns for consumers. According to the inaugural MasterCard Safety and Security Index™ released today, consumers in Hong Kong regardonline identity theft and ATM-related fraud as the top two security concerns when it comes to electronic payments. 

Top Security Concerns Not Necessarily Linked to Actual Incidence

More than a quarter of local consumers (29%) are most concerned about online identity theft in relation to data breaches. This includes personal data such as bank details, personal IDs, addresses, and signatures that are stolen or compromised through websites. An equally high proportion (29%) are also concerned about ATM-related fraud such as a stolen card, card cloning or skimming. 

Nevertheless, the Index found that these two concerns are not directly associated with consumers’ personal experiences, but rather based on word-of-mouth rumors and the perceived severity of fraud reported by media. Only a tiny number of respondents say they have actually experienced such payment security issues (4% for online identity theft, 3% for ATM-related fraud). 

Bricks-and-Mortar vs. Online

Hong Kong consumers feel the least secure of all Greater China respondents about making electronic payments (credit card, debit card or digital wallet). They tend to feel slightly safer paying in a bricks-and-mortar environment (i.e. physical stores; 25 index points) versus online (18 index points). 

Interestingly, China is the only market in Greater China where consumers regard online electronic payment as safer than payment at physical stores. This may be due to the relatively higher level of digital wallet usage in China (62%, compared to 14% for Hong Kong and 29% for Taiwan) which has helped create perceptions of online safety. 

Higher Levels of Trust and Reliance on Banks 

The Index also found that banks play a critical role in ensuring payment safety and security for consumers in Hong Kong, with 62% of local respondents saying that issuing banks should inform their customers about safety and security. When they come across fraud, 41%   approach their issuing banks first for advice. 

“While the era of digital payments has brought great convenience to our daily lives, we understand that peace of mind is equally important to Hong Kong consumers, knowing that their payments are secure and protected. At MasterCard, our focus on security is critical as we deliver ways to pay that are convenient and easy to use. We believe that security and innovation should go hand-in-hand,” said Anna Yip, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard. 

MasterCard has been safeguarding the way consumers pay for nearly 50 years, and multiple layers of technology serve to protect each and every transaction. For example, EMV and MasterCard SecureCode are the two solutions that are most visible forms of protection consumers can see. The biggest protection is our payments network which processes 65,000 payments a minute, and has the speed and power to identify fraud in real time. 

“In fact, ensuring payment safety and security requires concerted effort from all parties, and this inaugural Index suggests that merchants were also seen to have growing responsibility for this, with 22% of local consumers turning to merchants as their first recourse in seeking resolution for such issues,” Anna added.

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