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Online bank safety still top concern

Customers happier, but remain insecure

Today's internet users are getting over their hang-ups about the security issues surrounding online financial transactions, and are using financial services on the web with a bit more confidence, says a report out today from Datamonitor.

However, security worries still top the list of concerns about banking on the web, even among those who have an online account.

Ninety percent of respondents that used online financial services in the UK expressed security as the number one concern. Of those UK internet users not banking online, 72 percent claimed security was a barrier.

The reliability of information and the cost of using the internet rank second and third as deterrents to the takeup of financial services. Twelve percent of online banking customers are anxious about their lack of knowledge of the internet, and 24 percent of web users who don't bank online agreed.

The report, Impact 2001, found that while security does not put off new customers, it becomes the biggest worry for them once they are users.

But Datamonitor analyst Derrick Brown warned that, for companies, educating people about the internet can be a double-edged sword.

"Rather than approach people via the internet, companies should pitch their internet services through a different channel. But the risk in doing this is that they are then able to compare your services with others out there."

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