Consumers Willing To Take Extra Steps In Name of Security

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A new study suggests consumers are willing to perform extra tasks to increase security when logging onto financial websites.

They study, by Synergistics Reaserch Corp. and entitled "The Evolving Online Banking and Bill Payment Market," asked 1,000 consumers if they would be willing to perform an extra step or two when logging onto an institution's website as a way of improving security. More than eight in 10 said they would be willing to do so, with the positive response rate highest among higher household incomes and online banking users and prospects and online bill payment users and prospects.

Synergistics reported that users of online banking or bill payment services were also asked to rate the value of a number of security measures for accessing online financial services. A large majority rated all the items examined as having some value. Other findings:

* Eight in 10 expressed a preference for being able to select a password to be used for their identification.

* Almost three-fourths would see it as "very" valuable to use a PIN for access.

* Two-thirds would like for the website to display a picture and phrase selected by the customer to verify they are logged into the official site.

* Six in ten said being able to select several questions that can be used for identification is "very" valuable.

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