Study: Romanians are afraid of data theft and feel they don’t control their money when making online and mobile payments

Business, Consumption Habits, e-Commerce, Finances, Marketing, Studies

A recent study conducted by Reveal Marketing Research unveils the main barriers that prevent people from making online payments or using mobile banking applications for banking transactions. Although cash payments are discouraged in the context of COVID-19, some Romanians are still reluctant to online payment methods. However, the percentages are low when it comes to avoiding online payments.

Marius Luican, CEO Reveal Marketing Research

“Given the context of the pandemic, we can see a trend towards the use of online payment methods to minimize the risk of contracting the virus through contact with money. Interestingly, the differences between urban and rural areas regarding the use of online payments are becoming smaller, according to Reveal Marketing Research data. Indeed, there are still barriers, but the percentages are significantly lower compared to previous years. The situation is promising. “
  • The main reason why some Romanians avoid making online payments or using online/ mobile banking for banking transactions is the fear of personal data theft, mentioned by 26% of respondents.
  • Online payments do not give Romanians a sense of control, as does direct contact with money (11%).
  • Romanians have become accustomed to going to the bank to make payments and prefer to have direct contact with cash (11%).

Romanians’ fears towards mobile banking

In addition to the fear of personal data theft, Romanians admit that cash provides them with the feeling of control due to direct contact with money (11%), so they prefer to use cash payment, at the expense of online payment or mobile applications. Retired seniors are the ones who mentioned this barrier the most in terms of Internet payments (29%), followed by the traditional families (27%).

In a similar proportion, those living in rural areas mentioned the habit or routine of going to the bank or physically feeling the cash (11%). According to Reveal Marketing Research, the ones who avoid online payments want to be able to have direct contact with money in order to feel in control over their financial resources.

In contrast, 18% of respondents say they have no barriers to making online payments or using online / mobile banking for banking transactions. In both urban and rural areas, the same proportions are maintained in the responses.

Who are the Romanians’ who avoid online payments? Why?

Interestingly, although only 1% of respondents say they have difficulty using the card, we see significant percentages in both urban and rural areas of people with the habit of using cash and exhibiting fears of card usage.

Traditional families who avoid using mobile banking mentioned to a greater extent the habit of going to the bank or physically feeling the cash (16% and 8%, respectively), while single millennials mentioned the fear of the unknown (13%).

Young professionals (25%) and modern families (22%) said to a significantly greater extent that they have no barriers at all to making online payments or using online / mobile banking for transactions.

Trust in financial institutions

Only 1 in 10 Romanians says they do not trust financial institutions and as a result, avoid using mobile applications for banking transactions. This mistrust may be related to their fear of personal data theft on the Internet. Among them, traditional families (11%) and retired seniors (13%) are reluctant to the intentions of banks, according to Reveal Marketing Research.

What is surprising is that millennials, although they are a young generation, open to novelty, mentioned the “fear of the unknown” when not using online banking services. (13%). On the other hand, modern families are not as reluctant to change (1%), and the fear of the unknown is mentioned in a proportion of only 4%. So, we can see the openness of this segment towards online payments.

Uncertainty about where their money could go is another small barrier to using mobile banking or making online payments (9%). Young professionals are the segment that feels the most insecure regarding the place their money would end up to (12%).

In the case of modern families, but also traditional families (7%), we can say that the promptness of financial institutions rarely represents a barrier in terms of online payment. Only 7% of the representatives of these segments consider that banks are not fast and efficient enough and the time to carry out transactions takes too long.

According to the Reveal Marketing Research study, we notice, therefore, that the most important barriers for Romanians who avoid online payment methods are fear of personal data theft, the habit of having direct contact with money, and the lack of trust in financial institutions.  However, as shown by the study, these barriers are becoming less and less frequent among Romanians.

Reveal Marketing Research is a market research company, with a team specialized in marketing research, sociological studies, customer insight, business strategy, market development. The method used was CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) and 1018 online interviews, were conducted with respondents over the age of 18, on a nationally representative urban and rural sample between 4-10 September 2020. Sampling error: + / – 3%. Trust level: 95%.