January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Chip Cards Safest For Web Shopping, Consumers Believe

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Consumers are more likely to view smart cards as a safe vehicle for Internet shopping as compared to credit cards without a chip, according to a March survey by Auriemma Consulting Group Inc., Westbury, New York. The survey of 501 respondents found that 34% of consumers saw shopping with general-purpose cards on the Web to be "very risky" and only 8% thought it "very safe." However, only 19% of consumers deemed the use of chip cards on the Web to be "very risky," while 11% expressed the opinion that it was "very safe." At the same time, 31% of respondents either did not know enough about chip cards to answer the question or refused to respond, a figure that reflects Americans' inexperience with smart cards. C. Scott Strumello, an associate at Auriemma, credits American Express Co.'s launch of the Blue card with increasing consumer confidence in smart cards. "When the card was launched, there was a great deal of talk about how you can use it for secure online transactions," he says. "It clearly appealed to a certain group of consumers."

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