Concerns over online payment security persist for Americans, Canadians

While greater numbers of people flock to the Web to search for products, services and organizations to financially support, recent data demonstrates that many consumers - and donors by extension - are wary of using their credit or debit cards to make payments online.

Canadian consumers' mixed reaction to e-commerce
Research conducted by MONEXGroup, a Canadian payment processing firm gives charitable foundations and for-profit enterprises valuable information they can use to increase individuals' trust in the Web as a secure avenue for making payments. The study indicated 22 percent of consumers never use online point-of-sale services. Meanwhile the vast majority of Canadians – 78 percent – have made payments online, reflecting a growing sense of trust in digital transactions and payment processing.

US mobile-device owners take responsibility
However, their neighbors to the south continue to be plagued by fears of insecurity while shopping and banking online. American consumers have embraced digital technology, but maintain a fear of having their information compromised. Of the various ways people access the Web, mobile devices have become an increasingly popular and efficient way to conduct financial transactions, shop for products and make donations to charities.

The privacy management enterprise TRUSTe recently released a report stating 76 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. believe they are most responsible for managing their privacy. This presents an opportunity for fundraisers and nonprofit organizations to demonstrate the level of security their payment processing software provides for donors. With greater assurance that their private information will be protected, charitable foundations will likely generate a larger list of dependable donors.

Fears over online data security persist
Generally, 24 percent of respondents to the survey felt a constant sense of insecurity while using the Internet, but that level increased as financial data becomes part of the equation. In fact, 79 percent of consumers worried about their privacy while banking online, and 87 percent of those that shopped on e-commerce sites expressed concern.

For-profits and charities can likely understand individuals' lack of trust considering the prevalence of financial loss stemming from identity theft. Fortunately, most institutions have security systems in place to protect people from this practice, but it may be a good idea to remind donors of this fact every time they decide to contribute to a particular cause. Organizations can include a disclaimer as donors initiate the payment process, assuring them their private information is handled through a service provider that ensures discretion.

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