I am always weary of consumer surveys, and this week I have seen countless examples of how the questions can be worded in favour of a desired outcome! The latest was looking at the security of the mobile as a payment vehicle, and just under half showed that “lack of security” as a concern.
As an example of “leading a witness”, compare the following sets of questions, and decide if they take you to a different answer:
- Are you worried about the personal impact of payment fraud on your life?
- Do you think that more should be done to secure your payment information?
- Would you be concerned about all your payment details being sent over the air, and stored in your phone?
- Have you thought what you would do if you lost your phone containing all this sensitive information?
- Do you think that the lack of security is too big a risk to using your phone to make a payment?
- Were you aware that payment fraud has decreased over the last year?
- Do you think that this was due to all the improved security measures?
- Would you be keen on maintaining the level of security, yet making payment faster and more convenient?
- Would you like to securely transfer your card details over the air so that you only have to carry your phone with you?
- Would you be in favour of improving the payment experience through use of your mobile phone?
This is a poor imitation on a “Yes Prime Minister” sketch from 1986 (regarding conscription), but looks to highlight how a survey can lead to a differing conclusion on the same question. I am not suggesting that this was the case with the mobile survey, but it always makes me think twice about the results.