More than 80% of Australians will shop online for Christmas gifts this year, but rather than chasing festive bargains or one of a kind gifts, online shoppers are basing their purchasing decisions on online safety, according to new research from MasterPass by MasterCard. 

As the majority (75%) of Australians worry about online scams during the Christmas shopping period, an effort to shop safely online means that more than half (58%) will restrict themselves to only purchasing from widely known retailers.  Shoppers are even willing to miss out on discounts to guarantee they are safe, with only 16% saying they will purchase from any online store that has the lowest price. 

Aussies are not just reluctant to purchase from online stores they are unfamiliar with (55%), but stores that don’t have clear security details (72%) and ask for personal information like a birth date (46%) will also get no love from shoppers this Christmas. 

MasterCard Australia SVP & Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright says Aussies have always been keen online shoppers, but only if they feel their personal details are being kept safe. 

“Christmas is a holiday shared all around the world, so the opportunities for saving and spending online are huge. It’s astounding to see that Aussies may be missing out on great deals, and instead resorting to usual, run-of-the-mill gifts, because of perceived security concerns. 

“Rather than restricting shopping to a few familiar sites, using a MasterPass connected digital wallet is a new, easy way to make sure payment transactions are as safe and convenient as possible.  

“Regular card transactions are safe online, but with MasterPass all payment and shipping information is stored with your chosen bank, so you don’t have to save your personal details on file with multiple retailers all over the internet, and you don’t have to keep entering them”, Mr Cartwright said.

Kathy Sheeran, shopping expert and author of Shopping Confessions said: 

“Some of the best and most unique gift ideas can be found at little known online stores. The beauty of shopping online is that you aren’t restricted by geography or size; buying from a beautiful boutique in a different state or country can be as safe and convenient as buying from a big chain.  As shoppers are rushing to get their Christmas gifts this month, there’s no reason why they can’t take advantage of great deals or unique ideas from all around the world.   

“Rather than limiting where you shop for fear of getting stung, there are simple ways to ensure you are shopping safely:

•       Pay using a digital payment option.  MasterPass eliminates the need to enter detailed payment and shipping information with every purchase, and simplifies and speeds up the process of completing a transaction from any connected device. 

•       MasterPass works in conjunction with your bank, so your payment and shipping information doesn’t have to be stored with the retailer.  

•       Check that you are shopping on a secure web page. Always look for the https at the beginning of the address bar and a locked padlock in the browser.

•       Make sure you have good security protection software downloaded if shopping on a PC.

•       Search engines are your friend. You will almost always be able to find a review of a shopping site; so don’t buy anything until you’ve seen that it’s worked for others. 

•       Check for contact details. If there is no number, email the store and request one. 

•       NEVER share your payment details through social networks or via email.”

Source: MasterCard media release.