October 24, 2002, 12:00 AM

Consumers trust banks the most in online payments

Banks are the most trusted consumer service providers on the Internet when it comes to running an identity or e-wallet service, says new research from Gartner Inc.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Banks are the most trusted consumer service providers on the Internet when it comes to running an identity or e-wallet service, says new research from Gartner Inc. But even with a bank behind the service, retailers may find that offering an e-wallet for payment does little to ease shoppers’ security rears because consumers are distrustful of these services in general, no matter who runs them, Gartner says. Most consumers believe that their information is neither secure nor private in identity or e-wallet databases.

"Consumers care much more about privacy and security than they do about the convenience features offered by identity services," said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director for Gartner. "Identity services are marketed to consumers on the premise that they eliminate the hassle of repetitive web-site registrations. But compared with privacy and solicitation concerns, consumers do not find the registration process excessively annoying."

Gartner also reports that consumer adoption of Internet-based billing and payment applications will increase from 22% of the U.S. adult population using these applications by the end of 2002 to 45% at the end of 2005. Gartner says 16% were using such services at the end of last year. The findings were presented earlier this month at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2002.

Gartner says consumers prefer viewing and paying e-bills directly at biller web sites rather than registering for a consolidated model at their bank`s or other service provider`s web site, where they can only receive two or three of their major bills. Credit card issuers and telecommunications companies have been the most aggressive in developing e-billing web sites and developing customer service functionality around them.

 

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