Deloitte Consulting released a new study today (.pdf) suggesting that travelers do not trust the data security policies and practices of loyalty programs.
- Deloitte wants to convince loyalty programs to hire them to bolster their privacy and data security.
- They’d also love it if media picked this up and created pressure for companies to address an issue that Deloitte is ready to sell them a solution for.
Deloitte finds that:
- 75% of people expect their frequent traveler accounts to offer financial institution-grade security.
- Only 1/3rd are satisfied with the security of their accounts.
Net net, loyalty program members don’t actually care about this or at least continue to behave as though they are comfortable.
Loyalty programs continue to grow their membership. Here’s data on American, for instance.
In fact, with the US Airways merger American will have 100 million members. United MilgeagePlus is around 80 to 90 million, and Delta Skymiles 70 to 80 million. Those are some large member files. Who exactly are all of the people refusing to participate in these programs over fear of data security exactly?
Meanwhile, the study also suggests that only 20% of people consider themselves knowledgeable about the loyalty policies of their loyalty programs. They don’t even care enough to pay attention to this!
I’m not saying programs shouldn’t worry about data security. They should. A breach is terrible PR, and brings the risk of reduced member trust and engagement. But to suggest members are wary and shying away, so merely investing in this area will drive greater business, seems overly simplistic at best (and likely self-serving on the part of Deloitte).
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