Consumers feel insecure using debit or credit cards

As data breaches at major retailers have compromised the personal information of millions of customers over the past few years, a new consumer trust survey from Honeywell found that the security of credit and debit card information is a bigger concern for consumers (93 percent) than their health (84 percent), retirement savings (81 percent) or losing their cell phone (63 percent).

The survey, conducted by KRC Research, polled more than 2,000 credit or debit card users over 18 years old in the United States about the impact of recent data breaches on consumer trust, actions and expectations.

“When consumers are more worried about the security of their credit and debit card information than their health or retirement savings, it shows an erosion of trust and a growing consumer fear when handing over their personal data to retailers,” said Bob Grabowski, vertical marketing leader for retail, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. “Consumers are clearly stating that there must be an immediate shift for retailers to proactively use the most advanced technologies available to ensure the safety of their information at all times.”

According to the survey, consumers have widespread awareness of and concern regarding recent data breaches at major retailers.

  • Nearly all (90 percent) respondents have heard about recent credit or debit card breaches at major retailers.
  • More than one-fifth of respondents stated they do not feel secure when paying with debit cards at retail establishments.

Survey results reveal that consumers are wary of existing data security practices and think that retailers should be doing more to protect their data. In fact, consumers said they are willing to change their shopping behavior to safeguard their data if they personally suffered from a data breach.

  • Seventy-six percent of consumers surveyed would forego credit and debit transactions and 38 percent said they would entirely avoid a particular retailer if they personally suffered from a data breach.
  • Most respondents (81 percent) would be angry to learn that their favorite national retailer was not already using the best available technology to protect consumer information.

Consumers surveyed want retailers to use the latest in encryption technology to protect any transaction made using debit or credit cards, so that even if the data itself is stolen, it cannot be used. Encryption technology only gives authorized parties access to private consumer details such as credit and debit card numbers.

  • Nine in 10 consumers found retailers encrypting data to be a more appealing service for protecting their personal financial data than store-offered fraud and identity theft protection services (73%) or those services offered by a third party (61%).
  • Respondents felt retailers could be doing more to protect their financial information and stated they will shift shopping habits toward retailers that take security seriously, with 82 percent reporting a willingness to shop more frequently at stores that leverage point-to-point encryption technology.
  • Ninety-three percent of respondents support government-mandated security safety requirements.
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