Identity Theft

Does Anyone Think Their Credit Cards Are Secure?

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Consumers are less and less confident about using their credit cards to pay for things ever since some major retailers like Target reported security breaches, according to Retail Solutions Online. Even so, many consumers are still paying with their credit cards.

A survey conducted by Balance Innovations found 59% of respondents haven’t made any changes to how they pay for goods. At the same time, 32% say they plan to use cash more often now than before.

Using Cards Online Can Be Dangerous

Recently, online shopping has taken a hit – in addition to retail point-of-sale hacks, shopping sites like Smucker’s have been hacked too.

In the case of Smucker’s, the hackers infected servers with a Trojan that controlled the website, which allowed the hijackers to steal information entered into all of the payment processing forms before they became encrypted. This means that even when consumers are shopping at a secure site, that website can be compromised on the server side, resulting in the data being stolen.

Other recent hacks include companies that had been using outdated software, as well as a breach on Adobe’s servers.

Companies Prefer Credit Cards

According to the research by Balance Innovations, the older a person is, the more likely he or she is to avoid using credit cards to pay for things. While 48% of millennials are confident about credit card security, baby boomers were only 30% confident. Perhaps this is a reflection of when credit card processing via digital software was first introduced and its safety hadn’t yet been proven.

In general, 39% of respondents are “very confident” that credit cards are safe to use. Balance Innovations compared that number with food safety, of which 49% of consumers feel very confident.

Many companies would rather their customers pay with credit cards than cash. Cash is more difficult to account for and to store. It is more time-consuming for companies.

“Many consumers like to use cash because it’s anonymous and carries little risk, but for retailers it can be very time consuming to manage and reconcile,” Shelley Bosler for Balance Innovations said. “Increased usage of cash among consumers makes it all the more important for retailers to optimize cash processing policies at both the corporate and store levels.”

Using cash may be an upward trend as consumers become even more aware of how unsafe shopping with credit cards can be.

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Image: iStock

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