An increasing worry for many consumers is the data and cybersecurity issues of cashless payments aren’t well monitored (by a central bank). In today’s environment, cyberthreats from both organized technology-fueled thieves and rogue actors in nation-states are increasing.
It seems that they are always coming up with new ways of attacking digital systems resulting in a data breach and personal information identity theft—and non-cash solutions, especially credit and debit cards, may be more exposed.
Also, on the flip side, consumers have privacy concerns that come with every transaction having a digital footprint, whereas cash is more anonymous—you don’t need personal numbers to use a dollar bill. For consumers wary of their behavior being recorded by their financial institution, that can be off-putting—and for some consumers that’s putting it mildly.
And, the bottom line is that consumers are potentially more vulnerable to fraud by making digital transactions. Just look at what has been happening during the pandemic. As more consumers increasingly buy things online, data breaches have escalated. As reported by Yahoo Life, this year consumers are spending 30 percent more money online with many more people purchasing things like third-party food delivery and online video and audio-conferencing services.
That’s created a feast for thieves and hackers. “We’re now in totally uncharted waters, especially when it comes to hacking and identity theft,” Adam Levin, cyber security expert and founder of Cyberscout, tells Yahoo Life. “Breaches have become the third certainty in life behind death and taxes.” He says that identity thieves “prey on vulnerability and distraction.”
It turns out that the popular US digital payments network, Zelle (used by many trusted banks), is actually a risk for hackers. As reported by NBC news, posing as a consumer’s bank, scammers make phone calls saying they are calling to let banking customers know that their accounts have been breached. Then, after getting the information they need, they can quickly and easily access bank funds (and create fake Zelle accounts in consumers’ names).