Online shoppers pledge more money to safer internet

'Give us authentication and we'll give you cash'... sounds reasonable...

'Give us authentication and we'll give you cash'... sounds reasonable...

UK consumers have pledged to spend more money online and conduct more business via the internet if banks and retailers provide the tools for greater authentication.

A number of credit card companies have trialled systems which allow shoppers to generate single use passwords or codes for authenticating online transactions but such systems require a card reader, albeit one produced at pretty low cost, as well as the full support of payment firms and merchants.

However, research from RSA Security suggests users will repay with interest any investment the banks and retailers make in such solutions, with around 50 per cent of respondents to a recent survey saying they would take their business to companies who offered the best authentication for online transactions.

And more than two-thirds of respondents said they would make more transactions online if given some form of hardware authentication device.

Another way to interpret such results would be to suggest they show customers currently feel as though the majority of companies are not offering reliable or trustworthy authentication - highlighting "an extraordinary business opportunity", according to Chris Young, vice president of consumer authentication services at RSA Security.

Young said consumers have now "thrown down the gauntlet for the banks, brokerages, auction sites and myriad other business to whom they entrust their personal information".

More than 8,000 consumers took part in the survey which also gauged their perceptions of security on the internet.

An alarming 83.2 per cent of respondents said they feel threatened or extremely threatened by online fraud, while a similar number expressed the same levels of concern surrounding identity theft.