While much has been made about the demise of cash, it is still the preferred payment method for many consumers, highlighting the importance of ATM availability for local bank branches. In the past year, there has been a large number of data breaches, which may cause some customers to return to cash payments to protect their financial information.
According to data from Pew Research Center, 18 percent of online adults have had private personal information stolen, such as credit or debit card information, Social Security numbers or bank account data. This is a 7-percent increase from 2013. In terms of the percentages by age groups, 20 percent of 30 to 49 year-olds and an additional 20 percent of 50 to 64 year-olds had been the victims of information theft.
There are a growing number of incidents of data breaches at major retailers, which is increasing awareness among consumers, American Banker reported. Credit and debit cards were once seen as a safer alternative than cash, which is susceptible to loss or theft and is difficult to recover. However, cybercriminals are getting more savvy, making the risk for financial information theft much higher. In fact, many consumers see credit card data theft as a greater threat than a stolen wallet.
American Banker suggested the increased threat of data breaches is causing consumers to carefully evaluate how they make payments, and this is turning many people toward cash. Because of the higher cash use, banks can offer a better experience to their customers through improved ATM availability. If more people use cash, trips to the ATM could also increase branch traffic. Increased focus on cash could also help banks cut down on the cost of replacing stolen debit cards.
August 25, 2014