Survey: 39% of consumers ‘very confident’ in credit/debit card safety

Lenexa, Kan. - Only about four-in-10 (39%) of consumers are "very confident" that using a credit or debit card was safe. Half (49%) of consumers surveyed were only "somewhat confident." In light of the mass retail payment security breaches in recent months, Balance Innovations surveyed shoppers about their confidence in using credit and debit cards at their primary grocery store and whether they have changed their payment methods in response.

Respondents indicated only moderate confidence in credit and debit security and a move toward cash for some (32%). Survey results include:

• While 59% of shoppers have not made any changes in payments methods used, 32% plan to use cash more often, distantly followed by credit at 8%. Increased use of cash likely affects especially smaller purchases.

• Only 30% of shoppers age 50-64 said they were very confident about using a credit card at their primary grocery store. Younger shoppers (18-24) were more trusting (48%), but 46% say they do now use cash more often.

• Supermarket shoppers place the highest confidence in payment security (53%) compared with 33% of supercenter shoppers.

• Consumers' food safety confidence (49% "very confident") exceeds their trust in payment security (39%). Important lessons can be drawn from historic food safety confidence ratings in that mass food safety breaches can very quickly turn consumers' trust levels and drive changes in behavior.

"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," said Shelley Bosler, senior VP for strategic innovations for Balance Innovations. "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."

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