When it comes to interacting online, everything is a matter of trust. Spam emails and clever phishing attacks make it more challenging to determine what’s legitimate and what isn’t and have put businesses and consumers on edge. Without trust, customers are reluctant to share sensitive information or conduct transactions online. According to a recent survey, EV certificates have a significant impact on customer confidence and trust.
First, let me explain what an EV certificate is. Most people are familiar with the basic SSL certificate. The EV, or extended validation, certificate requires more comprehensive and strenuous research into the organization requesting the it. As a result, it provides stronger verification and authentication.
Websites protected with a standard SSL certificate typically are indicated with a locked padlock icon in the web browser address bar. Websites that are secured with an EV certificate also include the padlock, but the address info is displayed in a distinct green color to indicate that it’s safe and the full name of the company that obtained the EV certificate is displayed.
I’m not as vigilant as I ought to be, perhaps, but I honestly do glance at the browser address bar to double-check that the padlock is locked, and the connection is over HTTPS instead of standard HTTP. If I don’t see those things, I will stop and examine the URL and web page more closely. I certainly wouldn’t enter any financial or sensitive personal information in a site that was not secure. The bright green company name and locked padlock on a site protected with an EV certificate stands out more and makes it immediately obvious that the site is secure.
If your website does not instill confidence, customers will not trust you. We gathered input from more than 350 individuals around the world and found that the EV certificate has a significant impact on that trust. Eight out of 10 survey respondents indicated that their perception of a brand or company is influenced by the green address bar of a website protected with an EV certificate. More than 50 percent stated that it has a significant influence.
When presented with two virtually identical images of a banking website—one protected with a standard SSL certificate and the other with an EV certificate—survey participants overwhelmingly favored the EV certificate website. Here is a quick look at how much more the survey respondents agreed with these statements when it comes to the EV certificate website:
- “I am safe doing business with this site.” 6 times more
- “This business is trustworthy.” 8.6 times more
- “This business is secure.” 10.8 times more
Perception is reality. Whether a website has no certificate, a standard SSL certificate or an EV certificate may not necessarily dictate that the company is more trustworthy. But, our survey determined that it is perceived to be more secure and more trustworthy, and—in the end—that is all that counts. Companies that want to project the image that they are concerned about security and care about the privacy and security of customer data should invest in an EV certificate.
Check out the full report yourself to learn more about the survey, and what the findings indicate about the value of EV certificates.