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Security, Usability and Trust in online payments

In the e-business chain, the last link that needs to be convinced of the security of an online transaction is the end-user. That is why this article puts forward a user-centred perspective of the problem of trust in online payments, derived from the discipline of usability.

When examining barriers to the adoption of e-commerce, numerous studies have singled out consumers’ lack of trust as a major factor. Some people reduce the trust problem to one of security, arguing that, if security issues are resolved, people will be happy to transact online. However, when the trust problem is broken down into its constituents, privacy, ease-of-use or the credibility of information on the web are revealed to be as important to consumers as security.

As far as the introduction of a new e-payment system is concerned, one should not underestimate the power of the media and reputable institutions in approaching consumers and assuring them of the system’s security. Since the average consumer is unlikely to be able to assess the objective security of, say, an encryption algorithm, this issue remains, to a large extent, one of trust – namely trust in familiar information sources. Thus, a well-orchestrated marketing effort would help give consumers enough pre-interactional trust to understand, accept and use the new system.

Meeting Consumers’ Trust Concerns
Top-Down & Bottom-Up Design
Designing the Trust Experience

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Last modified on 27 june 2004

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