Recession increases people's fear of identity theft

December 29, 2009

Chicago (December 29, 2009)—As if the global recession, struggling housing market and high unemployment numbers weren’t enough, market research firm Mintel reveals that Americans increasingly fret about having their identities stolen.
Because of today’s dire economic situation, nearly half of adults (46%) say they’re more worried about someone stealing funds from their bank accounts or stealing their identities. Perhaps because of the belief that desperate times lead to desperate measures, or maybe because each dollar is more precious this year, security and identity theft are top concerns for today’s consumers.
Susan Menke, behavioral economist at Mintel Comperemedia, comments:
“Some consumers worry that, because of economic concerns this year, banks aren’t paying as much attention to security and identity theft issues as they have in the past. This really isn’t true, so banks need to reassure their customers that they’re being well taken care of. Focusing on security and identity theft protection capabilities can give banks and credit unions a competitive edge and strengthen customer relationships.”
Identity theft protection is very important to consumers, especially when choosing which banks to do business with. Nine in 10 people told Mintel that protection against identity theft and illegal account access was very or somewhat important to them when selecting a bank. Among small business owners, 42% rank identity theft protection as one of the top three factors they’d consider when obtaining a new business credit or debit card.
“As banks launch new financial products and services like mobile banking, they need to be mindful of people’s concern about security. One way to improve acceptance of new products is for banks to convince customers that their personal information will remain safe and protected,” states Susan Menke. Visit Mintel Comperemedia’s blog for the latest direct marketing trend analysis: www.comperemedia.com/blog/ 

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