Card Security? Many Consumers Say It’s Retailers’ Responsibility

Two-thirds of consumers say retailers are on the hook

Author: Monica Melton

August 3, 2017

Consumers are worried about credit card security and many feel it is up to retailers, more than banks or credit card companies, to protect their data.

According to a July 2017 Transaction Network Services (TNS) survey, just under two-thirds of US internet users believe retailers are responsible for protecting their data when making a purchase. The survey, which also covered the UK and Australia, found consumers in those countries slightly less likely to put the security onus on retailers, but even so, the measure was above 50% in both countries.

The survey found widespread concern about data security. Globally, 67% of respondents reported that they were concerned. Not surprisingly, older respondents tended to worry more than the younger ones. That said, among the youngest consumers in the study, those 18-24, 59% expressed concern about data security.

Interestingly, while the survey uncovered a sense of rising concern about credit card security, it also found that respondents in all three countries were less likely to have experienced fraudulent card use than two years ago. In the US, for example, 23% said they had experienced card fraud in the current survey, down from 32% in 2015. The declines in the UK and Australia were a bit less dramatic but still distinct.

Consumers have acted on their data concerns by changing some of their shopping behaviors.

A January 2017 survey conducted by Blumberg Capital found a variety of responses to concerns about hacking, but only a small minority of internet users (19%) said they had actually cut back on shopping digitally.

Other steps they have taken include regularly changing passwords, only shopping digitally among well-known retail brands and using separate passwords for various sites.