Kiwis fret over online shopping security

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 16:35 20/05/2013
Online shopping
Fairfax
CYBERSAFETY: Kiwis say security is their biggest concern when shopping online.

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Online shoppers in New Zealand say payment security is their biggest concern when shopping online.

The results of MasterCard's annual online shopping survey, released today, showed 440, or 88 per cent, of the 500 New Zealanders surveyed said security was their key consideration when it came to shopping online.

Of the 7000 people surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region New Zealanders were among the most prolific online shoppers, second only to China, with nearly 82 per cent of New Zealand respondents saying they made online purchases.

MasterCard New Zealand country manager Albert Naffah said that ensuring the integrity of payment systems should be a key priority for retailers, as online shopping became an increasingly important sales channel.

"Without the capability to demonstrate to consumers that their payments are secure, retailers can offer the best products at the best prices and still not reach optimal sales," he said.

Most New Zealand and global retailers had worked hard to create secure payment facilities, Naffah said, so Kiwis did not need to be worried about online payment security.

However, the survey results were unsurprising as research showed New Zealanders always expressed concern about their financial security, Naffah said.

New Zealand did not have a history of payment security breaches, and banks and credit card providers had zero liability policies, which protected customers from unauthorised activity on their card, he said.

Technology and security methods were always progressing and it was important retailers updated their security systems.

Customers should never provide their ATM pin number, or point of sale pin over the internet, he said.

TradeMe continues to be the most popular site for online purchases, with 38 per cent of respondents having shopped there in the past three-months.

Meanwhile 85 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed said convenient payment was important, and 84 per cent said the cost of items was of concern.

The top website category for online shoppers was clothing and accessories, visited by 40 per cent of those surveyed.

This was followed by coupons and deals (38 per cent), airline tickets (37 per cent), and home appliances (37 per cent). Traditional retailers were continuing to grow their online presence, and were increasingly making up a greater proportion of online sales.

The survey also showed deal sites, such as 1-Day, Red Alert and GrabOne, continued to be popular.

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The Warehouse Multi Channel chief executive Andrew Buxton said Kiwis were technologically savvy, and comfortable with online shopping.

The retail giant had seen growth and good returns on investment in online channels, Buxton said.

New Zealanders recommended sites provide free or minimal delivery charges, and ensure there were no additional service charges added to a purchase.

- BusinessDay

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