DO-IT-YOURSELF: A survey shows that relatively few South Africans have switched to a digital lifestyle and still go shopping. Picture: JACQUES NAUDE

Online shopping and banking may be a popular trend across the world with many people opting for this rather than the personal approach, but a recent survey has shown that relatively few South Africans are ready to enter the online world.

The survey, conducted by mobile security company Entersekt and carried by OnePoll, revealed that 41 percent of South Africans felt that online shopping and banking was too much like playing “Russian roulette”.

Entersekt’s Schalk Nolte said the problem was that people were not only highly aware of the existence of fraud, but that many had experienced it personally, or knew someone who had.

“This is verified by our survey, which shows that this criminality impacts all of us through increased insurance, increased prices and increased hassle.”

An interesting factor that emerged from the survey was that nearly half of all local consumers surveyed would rather be inconvenienced so long as it meant they were better protected.

And the survey turned up the fact that 21 percent of respondents did not ensure their credit card details were protected during online transactions. Women were also more cautious of about using online services, it showed.

Nolte pointed out that major misconceptions also emerged among the respondents: “When asked who would bear the cost if a card was used without authorisation, about 85 percent believed it is the bank or card issuer.”

In fact, when fraud occurs it is the merchant who is ultimately responsible.

Nolte added that this was ultimately bad news for everyone, since this would eventually be factored into the prices of goods.

International research company Ipsos Global Public Affairs has shown the online trend has been a major hit across the world, with Sweden showing a 90 percent preference for online banking.

The company’s research manager, Keren Gottfried, said: “Online banking has caught on in many countries because it is easy to do.

“You can do it any time of the day and most of the transactions do not have fees.”

He added that the trend had also caught on in countries such as France, Canada, Australia, Poland and Belgium.

Online shopping is a popular choice in Germany and the UK, where 75 percent of people prefer to buy groceries online.

Nolte said that with people looking to banks and retailers to offer strengthened security, mobile banking applications and services should reflect this requirement. But he added that the mobility and freedom to transact anywhere, anytime was no longer negotiable – “it is the nature of the lives we live today”. - Weekend Argus