US consumers prefer PINs to signatures

US consumers prefer PINs to signatures

US consumers prefer PIN-based verification when purchasing goods at the point-of-sale, according to a survey conducted by First Data subsidiary Star.

The Star Consumer Payments Usage Study found that nearly half of consumers surveyed (47%) prefer the PIN-secured method, compared to 30% who still prefer to use signatures. Survey respondents largely cite increased security as the main reason for choosing to use a PIN number to make purchases (46%).

The research also found that consumers expect a choice of payment methods at the PoS and on average use between two and four payment types a month.

More than five out of every six debit cardholders surveyed had used their card at an ATM or at the POS at least once in the month prior to the survey. In addition to debit, consumers continue to use other electronic payments options regularly as well, with 29% of non-debit users surveyed say credit cards are their preferred method of payment, up 11% over 2003. Debit users are the least likely to pay with cheque, while non-users still report that they wrote an average of three cheque per month at retail.

Debra Janssen, president of First Data Debit Services, says: "It's important for companies to support various types of secure electronic transaction - from PIN-secured debit to credit to cheque electronification - to provide comprehensive payment solutions for clients."

According to the study the use of EBPP services continues to grow, with 32% of consumers surveyed paying bills online, an increase from last year's 27%.
Furthermore, survey respondents rank the ability to do banking transactions, transfer funds and review statements from a home computer (5.7) as the most appealing technology being offered by their financial institution.

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