Cash Becoming King Again


Evidence is emerging that the Target TGT +0.08% data breach and other recent high-profile security failures have altered the behavior of shoppers, shaking their confidence in debit and credit card transactions. Along with generating some interest in alternative currencies like Bitcoin, it appears as if old-fashioned cash is being used more frequently in stores (grocers in particular) than it was before the Target breach. And the trend has only just begun.

It hasn’t helped that debit/credit card and personal data has also been reported stolen from Michael’s, Neiman-Marcus, Sally Beauty Supply and Plus, there’s the mother of all “oopses:” An Experian -owned database holding a stunning 200 million consumer records was cracked by a Vietnamese identity theft ring, it was revealed earlier this month.

In a survey of 1,488 grocery shoppers conducted in February that was sponsored by software technology vendor Balance Innovations, only 39% of respondents reported they were “very confident” in the safety of using debit and credit cards.