A quarter of European merchants in the retail, travel and hospitality, and digital goods sector have experienced data theft, while around 61% believe that they are at greater risk of a data security breach today than they were a year ago.

That’s according to data from the “2018 Global Payments Insight Survey: Merchants” published by ACI Worldwide and Ovum.

Achieving sales via digital channels remains the top priority for merchants and retailers across all sectors. 58% of merchants surveyed said that lost sales due to basket abandonment. 48% said that they ae willing to face an increased risk of fraud if it means more sales.

Among other findings by the survey, 80% of European merchants believe that real-tie payments will replace the use of debit and credit cards. 76% of merchants believe that real-time payments will help to save them money.

Related: ACI Worldwide puts merchant payments solution in the cloud

“Our research shows how crucial digital channels are to the success of merchants across sectors. For many of them, the website is now their most important storefront, and seamless and frictionless customer experience are top priorities,” said Andy McDonald, vice president for merchant payments at ACI Worldwide

“However, there shouldn’t be a trade-off between customer experience, sales growth and security. The right omnichannel strategy will offer customers a seamless payments experience, support loyalty and revenue growth, while at the same time provide maximum security.”

McDonald added: “Driven by customers’ shifting preferences in how they purchase and the channels they purchase through, merchants are finding the need to improve operating efficiency and customer service to maintain a competitive edge now and into the future.”

by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: alexanderh@ibsintelligence.com