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M-commerce security fears revealed

13 February 2012 - 13:13 by Mike Price

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A new survey has found that 60 per cent of people with a smartphone believe that their security could be compromised if they try to use it to carry out online shopping, according to Affinion International.

Twenty-five per cent of respondents said that they perceived m-commerce sites as being at particular risk of security issues, such as credit card fraud and identity theft.

Interestingly, when asked the same question about safe shopping online from a desktop or laptop computer, only 13 per cent said that they felt they would be faced with the same risks.

More than a thousand UK consumers were questioned during the report and it indicates that many people are nervous about the prospect of using an m-commerce site to carry out transactions.

Despite this, nearly a tenth of respondents said that they own an Apple iPhone, bringing the total smartphone ownership pool to 35 per cent when other brands are included. This suggests that growth figures for safe shopping online from a mobile will remain high, even if people are uncertain of the security which m-commerce offers.

Spokesperson, Steve Parsons, said that retailers operating on mobile phones would have to convince consumers that the levels of security are at least comparable to desktop sites, in order to help m-commerce expand to its predicted levels.

Mr Parsons pointed out that just 10 per cent of consumers said that they were very satisfied with the level of protection they are offered by retailers, both online and on the high street, so there is clearly a gap which needs plugging if trust is to be restored and sales can increase.

Mobiles have a doubly important security role to play because consumers worry that if they lose their handset then it will be easy for a third party to exploit any m-commerce accounts which are linked to it.