Many Kiwis worry about security when shopping in stores and online - and retailers are being urged to play their part in keeping their customers "safe and secure" as New Zealand prepares for the biggest shopping days of the year.
Peter Chisnall, country manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands at Mastercard, says a digital payments survey conducted by the company in New Zealand earlier this year revealed almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of shoppers are concerned about the security of their payment and personal details.
Sixty six per cent of those surveyed said they don't believe their card and payment details will be saved securely, while 57 per cent admitted to abandoning an online shopping cart because the check-out process was too complicated.
"Shoppers expect a simple, seamless and secure payment experience," Chisnall says. "Small business operators are often so busy it's something that can be overlooked."
In response to the concerns revealed by the survey Mastercard has produced a Staying Safe Online guide for small businesses. It advises them how to prevent fraud, scams, protect networks and information and provides tips on personal accountability and steps such as having secure passwords.
Chisnall's comments come as New Zealand is about to enter its busiest shopping season.
Last year November and December were New Zealand's biggest months for retail card spending. Stats NZ data shows that in those months in 2020 Kiwis spent $625 million and $746 million respectively. This was up 1.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent compared to the same months in 2019.
Chisnall says the impact of the pandemic has driven many more shoppers online and he expects another rise in spending this year.
"In one way this is a positive because, while the Delta variant has continued to impact sales, it has also led to people wanting to shop locally," he says.
"However, people need confidence in security no matter how they choose to pay. Wherever you shop you should always be mindful that there are people out there who want to take advantage of any loopholes in the system," Chisnall says.
Other key points revealed by the survey - it was conducted in May by UMR on behalf of Mastercard and questioned 1015 people aged 18 and over - showed 31 per cent of respondents want the ability to return items if they are not satisfied and 61 per cent said they found retailers were offering more ways to pay like contactless or via mobile app.
The survey showed laptops are the most popular device for shopping online (34 per cent) while using a mobile was close behind at 31 per cent.
"All of these results show how important it is to ensure e-commerce is desktop and mobile friendly – and that the returns process is efficient and easy," he says.
Chisnall says each business has different needs so Mastercard recommend researching the various payment options and work out which is best based on cost, convenience, safety.
Your bank can also provide more information on the various ways you can accept payments as well as the security tools that are available.
The guide also urges people to protect their devices and the information on them and to remain vigilant when shopping online.
"To avoid being caught by scams, or other fraudulent activity, it is wise to make sure you have up-to-date security software installed on your device, use strong passwords and update them regularly," he says.
Chisnall says Mastercard's tokenisation technology addresses many of these concerns for businesses by ensuring a cardholder's payment data is safely stored and maintained through a unique and encrypted token.
"As these digital tokens are unique to each device or customer-to-business relationship, card numbers or expiry details are never sent and cannot be intercepted or stolen."
For more information on how Mastercard's payment technology can protect your business, talk to your bank and visit: https://www.mastercard.co.nz/en-nz/businesses/small-business/backtobiz.html