Toronto (December 10, 2014)—With the holiday shopping season in full swing and the spate of data breaches showing no signs of slowing down, it’s safe to assume that payment security is top of mind for many Canadians. Indeed, highlighting the impact it has had, new research from Mintel reveals credit card fraud has impacted one in 10 consumers in Canada.

And it is 35-44-year-olds (14%), Chinese Canadians (14%) and those from households with income of $100,000 or more (14%) who are more likely to have experienced credit card fraud in the last two years. Furthermore, one in twenty (5%) of Canadian consumers have been the victim of a phone scam and nearly the same number victims of cash theft (4%) and debit card fraud (4%). Some 2% of Canadian consumers have been victims of identity fraud over the same period.

Despite all this, less than a quarter of Canadians (23%) have been a victim of any fraudulent activity in the past two years. Older Canadians (over-55s: 16%), lower-income consumers (16%) and those from the Atlantic Provinces (14%) were among the most vigilant, in terms of avoiding theft or fraud. On the other hand, Ontarians are less fortunate, with 26% of them having experienced some form of theft or fraud in the past two years.

“The fact that one in ten Canadian consumers have been victims of credit card fraud indicates that financial institutions can do more to educate customers about preventive measures they can take to protect themselves. Although identity fraud has received a fair amount of media coverage, the number of Canadians who have been affected by it remains small—standing at about 2%,” says Sanjay Sharma, senior financial services analyst at Mintel.

“Security and trust issues are the dominant factors in the minds of consumers at present and override the convenience benefits of contactless cards and mobile banking. This is likely to change in the near future as these concerns dissipate with the introduction of superior security features.”

Mintel research finds that Canadian consumers are indeed wary of contactless cards, with 13% of shoppers who haven’t used them in the last three months agreeing that they are worried about identity theft. Meanwhile, six percent are fearful of physical theft or losing the card and five percent are concerned about unauthorized payments being charged.

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