Tags: cash | credit | cards | thefts

Americans Turn to Cash Over Credit Cards After Data Thefts

By    |   Tuesday, 04 February 2014 12:25 PM

The thefts of credit/debit card information at Target and other retailers has American shoppers turning to cash instead of plastic.

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 37 percent of Americans have tried to use cash rather than credit or debit cards to pay for purchases thanks to the thefts.

"This is CRAZY. First my Target card, now this," Lorraine McCullough wrote on the Michaels Stores Facebook page last week after the retailer said it was looking into whether customer information had been purloined, The New York Times reports.

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"I am going to pay cash from now on."

But switching to cash may prove difficult for a consumer populace that has gotten used to swiping a card for everything. And, of course, you can't use cash for online purchases.

MasterCard, Visa and Target declined to tell The Times whether they have seen any downturn in card usage. An American Express spokeswoman tells the paper, "In general, card usage at merchants is in line with seasonal trends we've seen in prior years in December and January."

The data theft problem stems largely from technology. "The United States is among the few advanced countries still using archaic magnetic stripe credit card technology from the mid-20th century," according to a Boston Globe editorial.

"For now, the United States needs to move aggressively to adopt the more secure chip-and-PIN technology that is widely used overseas. But it must also recognize that even that technology is aging, and that keeping ahead of ever more sophisticated hackers will require banks, retailers, and consumers to adopt future improvements much faster."

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The thefts of credit/debit card information at Target and other retailers has American shoppers turning to cash instead of plastic.
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2014-25-04
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 12:25 PM
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