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Consumers And Financial Transactions

Unisys Research Reveals Most Consumers Worldwide Won’t Use Mobile Devices to Conduct Financial Transactions

Majority unconvinced that mobile devices are safe for shopping and banking

Banks, telcos and retailers must collaborate to increase adoption of mobile payments

The cell phone is practically universal, with more than 3.3 billion subscribers worldwide, yet 71 percent of all consumers surveyed in 14 countries will not consider using a mobile device to bank or shop online, according to a study released today by Unisys Corporation.

The research, conducted with the latest installment of the Unisys Security Index, also reveals that more than half of all respondents (59 percent) do not trust their mobile devices to provide a secure transaction. Moreover, only 9 percent currently use these devices to conduct transactions involving credit-card payments, money transfers and deposits.

Unisys surveyed 13,296 consumers worldwide in March 2008 about their mobile-device habits and how secure they feel when conducting online transactions. The results indicate a widespread apprehension about the security of mobile devices and their ability to protect pertinent information relayed in a financial transaction. Other key findings:

 Consumers most reluctant to use a mobile device to bank or shop online include: France (86 percent); U.K. (79 percent); Australia (78 percent); Belgium and Italy (both at 77 percent); and U.S. (71 percent).
 21 percent of German respondents currently use a mobile phone or personal organiser to conduct financial transactions, representing the highest percentage of any country or region included in the survey. U.K. respondents have the lowest percentage of consumers using mobile devices to bank or shop (1 percent).
 At least half of all respondents in each country or region – with the exception of New Zealand (45 percent) and Malaysia (49 percent) – do not trust their mobile devices to provide a secure transaction.
 Most consumers generally perceive banks as having the best security for mobile transactions when compared to telecom providers and online retailers. However, trust of banks varies greatly from country to country; for example, Italian respondents are twice as likely (72 percent) to trust a bank to secure an online transaction via a mobile device as respondents in Malaysia (38 percent).

“Despite unprecedented growth in the number of cell phone users and the advancement of mobile technologies, telecom providers, online retailers and financial institutions seem unable to convince consumers worldwide that a secure platform exists for conducting online mobile transactions,” said Tim Kelleher, vice president of enterprise security at Unisys. “There is a great deal of money to be made in mobile payments, but only when consumers believe that the security of the transaction meets or exceeds the freedom of using mobile devices.”

A Collaborative Approach
The Unisys research shows that consumers deem certain service providers better equipped to secure mobile transactions. In fact, in more than half of the 14 countries included in the study, under 10 percent of consumers trust a telecom provider or an online retailer over a bank to provide a secure transaction. Across the world, consumers overwhelmingly favor banks to provide adequate security for mobile transactions.

“The fact that consumers trust banks more than others to secure mobile transactions bodes well for the financial-services industry,” Kelleher added. “But banks must still find ways to work alongside telecom providers and retailers to leverage their innovation while educating consumers on the realities of mobile banking and payment security. Collectively, they must prove that conducting a financial transaction via a mobile device is as secure as doing so on a desktop computer or in front of a bank teller at a local branch.”

About the Unisys Security Index
The Unisys Security Index is an ongoing study that provides insights into the attitudes of global consumers on a wide range of security related issues. International Communications Research (ICR) conducted the survey in the U.S. and Europe; Newspoll conducted the research in Asia-Pacific. The Unisys Security Index surveyed 13,296 people in 14 countries. The study measures consumer perceptions on a scale of zero to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of perceived anxiety. The Unisys Security Index includes consumers’ opinions from New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States. For more information about the Unisys Security Index, see

About Unisys
Unisys is a worldwide information technology services and solutions company. We provide consulting, systems integration, outsourcing and infrastructure services, combined with powerful enterprise server technology. We specialize in helping clients use information to create efficient, secure business operations that allow them to achieve their business goals. Our consultants and industry experts work with clients to understand their business challenges and create greater visibility into critical linkages throughout their operations. For more information, visit


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