Online retailers could boost their sales by more than £5.57 billion a year by giving UK shoppers a more secure way to pay for their purchases.
This is according to MasterCard who has found that 6.9 million new customers would happily use internet services if security was improved.
MasterCard's survey suggests that 15.6 million credit cardholders currently shop online, spending £16.4 billion a year. Most of the money goes on airline tickets and holidays the survey found.
However, 46 per cent admit that they have never shopped online, with concerns about security of retailers' websites being the reason for over a third of these people.
In order to combat this fear MasterCard has launched a new service called MasterCard SecureCode, which requires customers to enter a special security password when using their card over the internet. This prevents it being used fraudulently by criminals who may get hold of the card details.
Gun Norrefalk, the associate vice president of ebusiness northern Europe at MasterCard Europe, said: "Our research shows that online retailers could significantly boost their sales if they offered customers the added security of SecureCode."
"The response from the banks to SecureCode has been positive and we are pleased with the progress that has been made."
When questioned about SecureCode, 35 per cent of people who currently shop online said that they would shop on-line more if their banks and retailers offered this service.
Consequently, as these consumers said they would increase their spending by 34 per cent, the total figure for extra internet spending equates to £5.57 billion on purchases every year.DeHavilland Information Services plc