British consumers are worried about what happens to their personal data in call centres, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people commissioned by communications services provider Avaya and contact centre specialist Sabio.

The survey, carried out by Davies Hickman Partners, revealed that more than 38% of respondents had been reluctant to pay for a product or service over the phone because of worries over call centre fraud. This would equate to 18 million people nationwide.

Only 5% believe that a phone payment is completely secure, and 50% think organised criminals target call centres. But people are still very reliant on this as a way of buying products and services, and there are some contradictions in their attitudes towards existing security measures.

Some 60% said they are asked for security details when there is no need, 71% do not like providing bank account details, and 55% said they find it irritating to repeat details on one call.

Avaya and Sabio say there is some tension between companies' attempts to protect people's data and their efforts to make things easier for customers.

But there is a willingness among consumers to use technology for security: 80% said they are happy to enter passwords on keypads and 51% are receptive to technology such as voice biometrics.

Simon Culmer, Managing Director UK for Avaya, said that consumers have a contradictory attitude that makes things difficult for businesses, but that there are possible solutions.

"Consumer trust in technology is key," he said. "It should be used to reassure customers that their security concerns are being addressed while simultaneously improving the customer experience, speeding up the time and driving down the cost of each and every customer service interaction."