Customers will avoid businesses that compromise users’ data during the COVID-19 pandemic because of poor security practices, new research from PCI Pal has found.
Many corporate employees now work from home, which, coupled with an increase in cyberattacks, leads to businesses compromising user data in numerous cases. It turns out that there’s a price to be paid poor cybersecurity practices, and customers will avoid those companies for years.
For example, 33% of UK consumers will avoid a business “for up to several years” if their data is leaked or compromised in any way. Another 30% said they would never return. On the other side of the spectrum, around 11% of customers said that such cybersecurity incidents wouldn’t affect their loyalty towards a business.
“While a majority of consumers (69%) felt the same level of concern regarding how businesses are handling their personal data now compared to before the pandemic, over a quarter (28%) said they felt more concerned,” states the research.
“This worry was further elevated when asked specifically about sharing payment information with businesses operating remotely. Here, three-quarters of respondents expressed some level of concern, with 25% of these stating that they are ‘very concerned’ about how their payment data is being handled during the pandemic,” the research adds.
The research is based on a survey of 3,501 adults aged 18-65 in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia and Canada.
The numbers differ from country to country, and different nationalities have different worries. For example, the pandemic is making Spanish consumers more concerned about the security of their data (45%), followed by Australia (42%), versus 34% of respondents in Italy, 30% in Germany and 29% in France.
Among all nationalities surveyed, the Germans are the most likely to say they would never return to that business (40%) compared to 21% in France.
Private data security was always a consideration for customers, but the insecurity brought by the pandemic only made the users’ decisions regarding their brand loyalty clearer.