US online shoppers in the dark over online liability coverage - JupiterResearch

Source: JupiterResearch

It's 2008. Do you know what your online fraud liability is? While fraud protection and security are the most important factors for online shoppers, 68% of online shoppers who pay with a credit card do not know their liability coverage.

This is according to a new national survey of 2,706 consumers conducted by JupiterResearch and commissioned by eBillme, the payment alternative that brings online banking to the eCommerce checkout. And, based on the distribution of other responses from the survey on this topic, it is clear that there is a high level of confusion as to the definition of maximum liability coverage, even among those who think they know what their level of maximum liability coverage might be. With similar data reported among debit card users, it is apparent why consumers are still hesitant to checkout.

"While eCommerce continues to rapidly grow, there are still 74 million online consumers who do not buy online," says Marwan Forzley, President and CEO of eBillme. "This data shows us that consumers want to know how they are being protected from risks of fraud or other factors that can affect their purchases. An alternative payment option like eBillme, which has built in buyer protection features including return guarantee, price guarantee, in-transit protection, and fraud protection, made known to shoppers, would enable retailers to increase consumer confidence leading to higher average orders and more repeat sales."
The survey evaluated consumers' considerations when selecting a payment method online and examined potential opportunities for online merchants to convert these hesitant shoppers into confident buyers. The results uncovered interesting insights into consumers' online shopping behavior indicating that buyer protection is far more important than purchase rewards, which is one of the least important factors for consumers choosing an online payment option:
  • 81% of credit and debit card users value fraud protection as the most important factor when selecting a payment option; over 4 times more important than rewards.
  • 60% of credit card users and 56% of debit card users prefer product and service guarantees; over 3 times more than rewards on their purchase.
  • 45% of credit card users and 50% of debit card users value price protection and being offered the lowest available price; 2.5 times over rewards or points earned from making purchases for credit card users and over 3 times for debit card users.

The study also found that 68 percent of credit card users don't know what percentage of purchases they would be liable for if their card were lost or stolen. And, 77% of credit card users stated that they would accept changes in the online checkout payment process if it would enhance security. 65% of debit card users are similarly unaware of the liability connected with using a debit card. Fraudulent debit card purchases can cost the consumer up to $500 or more if the activity is not reported in a certain allotted time period.

About the survey

In November 2007, JupiterResearch designed and fielded a survey to online consumers selected randomly from the Ipsos US online consumer panel. A total of 2,706 individuals responded to the survey. Respondents were asked approximately 40 closed-ended questions about their behaviors, attitudes and preferences as they relate to customer service and support, search behavior, use of ISP portals, politics, and wireless research. Respondents received an e-mail invitation to participate in the survey with an attached URL linked to the Web-based survey form. The samples were carefully balanced by a series of demographic and behavioral characteristics to ensure that they were representative of the online population. Demographic weighting variables included age, gender, household income, household education, household type, region, market size, race and Hispanic ethnicity. Additionally, JupiterResearch weighed the data by AOL usage, online tenure, and connection speed (broadband versus dial-up), three key determinants of online behavior. Balancing quotas are derived from JupiterResearch's Internet Population Model which relies on US Census Bureau data and a rich foundation of primary consumer survey research to determine the size, demographics and ethnographics of the US online population. The survey data are fully applicable to the US online population within a confidence interval of plus or minus three percent. In this survey effort, JupiterResearch worked with its research partner, Ipsos-Insight, on the technical tasks of survey fielding, sample building, balancing, and data processing. Ipsos-Insight is one of the largest market research companies in the US and maintains a general research panel of 400,000 households. Ipsos-Insight also has access to the Ipsos US Online Panel, which comprises two million Internet users, offering JupiterResearch an easy way to target and survey current online users. Panel-based market research enables researchers to have baseline knowledge of each survey respondent, increase survey participation rates, and permit careful rationing of survey fielding to reduce survey burnout.

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