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Bank customers willing to pay for online security

Amid concerns over online fraud, consumers are willing to shell out extra fees to feel safer, poll shows.

Americans are ready to shell out additional fees for greater protection of their online transactions and bank accounts, a new consumer poll has indicated.

Nearly 40 percent of citizens are willing to pay fees for more protection, compared to 27 percent who were ready to do so last year, a survey conducted by Unisys has shown.

About half the consumers surveyed said they would consider switching to a new bank for greater protection. The study results came from a poll of 1,000 Americans.

This willingness is driven by growing concerns about issues like identity theft. About 73 percent of consumers said they are worried about fraudulent use of their bank accounts or credit cards, compared to 51 percent who expressed such fears in 2004.

Nearly 17 percent of consumers cited instances of identity theft, while 42 percent said their banks informed them of threats of phishing.

"People are clearly worried, reinforced by the fact that they're even more willing than ever to leave their banks and pay for security protection," Dominick Cavuoto, Unisys president of financial services, said in a statement.

"This consumer perception will likely drive banks to quickly adopt advanced security solutions or risk losing existing and potential customers, revenue streams and brand reputation."