Two thirds of UK consumers questioned in a recent study do not buy products online for fear of credit card fraud.
The research found that, although 53 per cent of homes have an internet connection, 66 per cent of users refused to book holidays online, for example, preferring to visit a travel agent personally.
"Consumers will only feel reassured enough to book holidays online when they know that a particular merchant is doing everything it possibly can to combat fraud," said Alan Smith, business development director at anti-fraud firm ClearCommerce Europe, which commissioned the survey.
"Although credit card fraud losses fell by more than five per cent last year, card-not-present fraud is a serious business, covering not only e-commerce but telephone orders as well."
According to the Association for Payment Clearing Services, £138.8m was lost to card-not-present fraud in the 12 months to June 2004.
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