Payment Phobia or Paynophobia is a condition that is becoming more common, exacerbated by security failures and media coverage that sensationalise the hackers.
It’s thought that over 26% of the world’s population actually suffer from the phobia making it one of the most common, above arachnophobia at 25%.
For some, it manifests itself as increased anxiety levels and stress as they share details online to complete a checkout. For others it can be debilitating with one sufferer telling us it took her 12 hours recently to pay for a flight online.
As virus software develops and protects many online users, this phobia is now manifesting in the real world. People are adverse to contactless payment methods, using their mobile phone or even checking an account balance at a cash machine.
It may seem like a minor inconvenience yet this phobia is actually costing many companies and sufferers money.
In a bid to go green many companies have taken to paperless billing while cheque books are almost obsolete. This leaves those with Paynophobia with a choice to pay online, at their bank or using a card over the phone. The mental blocks that delay this process leaves many with late payment fees, while most will go out of their way to find another solution.
It’s not a simple phobia and no doubt as it grows it will attract many strains for the variations, for instance, there are many reasons why someone may become a sufferer.
They may be scared of:
· Their card details being stolen
· Being mugged as they bring their card out in public
· Their identity being stolen online
· Their computer and bank being hacked
· Being rejected for payment as the card doesn’t work or there is not enough money in the bank
The latter prompts many sufferers to queue at the bank in order to obtain a balance, a task that can easily be done online or using any hole in the wall. It’s thought that one in five people that queue for service from a bank teller are there due to payment phobia.
There is no immediate cure for Paynophobia, the advancement of internet security and reduction of online fraud should reassure some people while consumers should be made aware of how to protect themselves properly.
Having access to the right information will help dispel some of the fear. Once armed with information on internet security some find that the fear dissipates, once they realise the measures already in place by their banks to protect them, they understand how unlikely it is that they will become a victim.
Allowing sufferers to have complete control over their own security also aids recovery, as information is laid out as to the options for protecting privacy online. It’s no surprise that because this phobia affects over 26% of individuals, it effects the operation of thousands of businesses too.
The best offence is defence, so if you suffer from Paynophobia, research your options for keeping your information safe online.