Maru/Matchbox: Equifax Breach Relatively Small Effect on U.S. Public Opinion

September 28, 2017

Consumers drawn to payment concepts that support innovative security measures

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – (September 28, 2017) – Headlines are still brimming following the Equifax breach with emerging details and the fallout from what is arguably the worst hack of a financial institution in U.S. history. Many of us in the research and banking industry know that consumer concerns around security have been peaking for several years. In fact, while the Equifax breach is certainly significant and will have far reaching consequences due to the sensitive nature of the information taken, the Equifax breach is not the largest in recent history. Past leaks at Yahoo and MySpace involved at least three times as many records.

“Given that this hack involved sensitive financial information of about half of all adults Americans, and was extensively covered in the news, it is surprising that it had a relatively small effect on public opinion,” said Demitry Estrin, Managing Director, Financial Services & Healthcare at Maru/Matchbox. The chart below summarizes consumer attitudes toward potential credit card fraud on September 6, 2017 (one day before the Equifax breach was announced) and then again on September 15, 2017.

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when I will be personally impacted by credit card fraud.”

To view the chart, please click here.

Our MoneyScreen research monitors, tracks and informs innovation across the banking sector. In recent interviews, conducted with more than 10,000 U.S. consumers, we see that consumers are drawn to payment concepts that are bolstered by innovative security measures. In fact, when we examine the last 50 payment concepts evaluated in our MoneyScreen research, based on consumer rankings, three out of the top five spots are occupied by products that emphasize advanced security and fraud protection features. Interest in these products is often more pronounced than interest in more innovative and reward laden value propositions. The Fraud Prevention card had widespread appeal, while the Freeze card had somewhat greater appeal among older consumers while the mobile wallet with voice login had more appeal to younger people-who tend to be more digitally oriented.

Top 5 Payment Products – 2017 YTD MoneyScreen Insights

To view the chart, please click here.

Beyond immediate interest in a product, we also look at the break through potential that each product has in the near future. In this analysis, more security and fraud protection offers rise to the top.

Breakthrough Analysis – Top 25 Concepts YTD 2017 MoneyScreen Insights

To view the chart, please click here.

The Equifax event and the consistent feedback we receive from thousands of consumers highlights the need for the industry, product managers and marketers alike, to mind the fact that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs applies equally well to the art of developing and launching successful products.

Fraud protection is a constant and basic concern that will not abate in the foreseeable future. While the industry strives to innovate through enhanced convenience and rich reward schemas, we conclude that groundbreaking innovation in the security and fraud protection arena are just as important in securing trust and business from the consumer of tomorrow.

About Maru/Matchbox Maru/Matchbox has been pushing the boundaries of the customer market insights space for over a decade. We are a sector-focused consumer intelligence firm focused entirely on better client outcomes. Our expert teams are deeply invested in key sectors of the economy, delivering insights and analysis backed by superior quality data.