The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published The 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice From the abstract: This paper presents the 2008 version of the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), a nationally representative survey developed by the Consumer Payments Research Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and implemented by the RAND Corporation with its American Life Panel. The survey fills a gap in knowledge about the role of consumers in the transformation of payments from paper to electronic by providing a broad‐based assessment of U.S. consumers’ adoption and use of nine payment instruments, including cash. The average consumer has 5.1 of the nine instruments, and uses 4.2 in a typical month. Consumers make 53 percent of their monthly payments with a payment card (credit, debit, and prepaid). More consumers now have debit cards than credit cards, and consumers use debit cards more often than cash, credit cards, or checks individually. Cash, checks, and other paper instruments are still popular and account for 37 percent of consumer payments. Most consumers have used newer electronic payments, such as online banking bill payment, but they account for only 10 percent of consumer payments. Security and ease of use are the characteristics of payment instruments that consumers rate as the most important.
Last weekend's big snowstorm helped online sales for the week post a 6% gain, making it the biggest single week in e-retail history, comScore says. Sales for the week ended Dec. 20 totaled $4.803 billion, compared with $4.532 billion during the comparable week last year. For the holiday season, e-retail sales are up 4%.
Through September retailers have paid publishers more than $109 million for U.S. e-book content, compared to $52.4 million for all of 2008. With e-books' strong growth, Forrester predicts overall e-book content revenues will top $500 million next year.
Most consumers are happy with their online shopping experience if they buy online, but it's a different story if they use the web to browse and then attempt to make a purchase in a store, a new study from Forrester finds.
Banks are scrambling to find new footing as lawmakers and regulators undermine one of the industry's profit foundations: consumer fees.
Two-Factor Authentication Security Failing
According to Gartner, it's important that organizations adopt new approaches for combating attacks against the system of two-factor authentication, as per the news published by itbusinessedge.com on December 14, 2009.
Comments Avivah Litan, vice-president and noted security analyst at Gartner, in a newly published study named "Where Strong Authentication Fails and What You Can Do About It", that man-in-the-browser assaults based on Trojans are beating the strong authentication mechanism. This, therefore, demonstrates the possibility of defeating any authentication technique depending on communications through web browsers, Litan contends. EWeek.com published this on December 14, 2009.
As for examples of the two-factor authentication's failure, an instance is cited where malicious software rewrites the transactions that a user transmits to an online-banking site. Evidently, all this takes place in secret so that the user and the bank don't get to know about the altered data.
Significantly, as per Litan, these assaults have been using Trojan Zeus as well as other customized malicious codes.
Moreover, these assaults have repeatedly and successfully targeted several banks along with their clients across the world during 2009. While the chief targets are bank account details, the methods of these attacks are also employed in other sectors as well as applications which hold sensitive and precious data, Litan explains.
Litan further suggests that companies need to employ a three-pronged approach towards fraud prevention so that their consumers as well as accounts could be safeguarded. Mybroadband.co.za published this on December 14, 2009.
In the meantime, Litan recommends the use of fraud detection, which tracks the activity of users' access. The method works by seizing and examining the web-traffic of a user -assuming that the user works on a web-based application -including navigation, login and transactions. Further, it detects anomalies in access patterns such as application access by automated software instead of a human.
One more method recommended is tracking of suspicious transaction values. In this, a particular transaction is compared with the "normal" behavior profile of the concerned user(s). Litan also suggested verification of out-of-band user dealings.
Finally, security should be regularly updated to ward off cyber-crimes, experts said.