Lack of trust affects online banking

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Users feel safer participating in ecommerce than utilising online banking, a survey has shown. The survey of 2,000 global users, implemented by Entrust, showed 85 percent participate in some form of ecommerce but less than two thirds bank online.

Intended to highlight the security concerns of consumers the report indicated online banks still have some way to go to convince users of their security.

Particular attention was paid to online identities, with 22 percent indicating that they would be very likely to switch banks if the package offered was more secure. And 78 percent of users would encourage a secondary level of authentication in order to access online accounts.

"People need to put more trust in financial organisations. And we're all going to have to work harder to get that trust," a spokesman from Egg said.

But online banks are keen to point out that their systems are safe. "There's been quite a lot of media attention on phishing but the actual figures related to loss are relatively small," the spokesman said. "Our challenge is to get that information across to the user and help understanding. Which is why ideas like Bank Safe Online have been implemented.

Bank Safe Online, an information service provided by APAX, intends to inform users of the dangers of online banking. But some suggest security still needs improving.

"As demonstrated by the survey, the proliferation of online hazards such as ID theft and phishing scams is threatening the growth in internet use," said Bill Conner, chairman of Entrust. "By offering protection against online identity theft organizations can help counter this threat."

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