LOS ANGELES (2/5/15)--The lack of payment data security at merchant stores has consumers worried--a concern shared by CUNA.
A recent survey by Los Angeles-based Bizrate found that nearly two-thirds of consumers believe merchant payment security is inadequate, a number largely driven by massive data breaches at stores such as Target and Home Depot.
Those under 35 were the least concerned at 45%, while the oldest group, those over 65, worried the most at 77% (Pymnts.com Feb. 4). Nearly 5,000 people were polled online.
CUNA continues to press lawmakers to pass legislation that would require merchants to meet the same strict payment data security standards imposed on financial institutions.
In a recent letter submitted for the record of an upcoming Senate subcommittee hearing on consumer protection, CUNA argued that federal data breach legislation must contain strong national data protections and consumer notification standards, in addition to effective enforcement provisions.
In the Bizrate survey, when asked why they were concerned about payment data at merchant stores, the most common response was because of recent news reports (43%). Further, 12% said they didn't believe the store would take care of them if a problem occurred, and one in six said they were already victims of a breach.
There's something to that growing reluctance from consumers to make purchases at retailers; in the survey, 29% said they were reluctant to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores.
A recent white paper from Equifax found that not only can theft of personal or payment information create serious problems for consumers financially, but also emotionally.
In a 2013 survey by the Identity Theft Resource Group, identity theft victims recorded emotions such as rage, betrayal, a sense of powerlessness, denial and shame.
"Just like with any financial problem, identity theft victims may experience the emotional effects of stress as they fight to regain their financial footing," said Trey Loughran, Equifax Personal Solutions president. "Victims need to be aware of the emotional toll of identity theft so they can get help if they need it."