Secure Forms Of Payment – Is There Any Such Thing?

Secure Forms of Payment - Is There Any Such Thing?Finding secure forms of payment is a delicate and stressful subject.  This morning I talked with my parents about their debit card getting hacked and being used at in the middle of the night.  Thankfully, the bank closely monitors their debit card accounts and noticed that the usage was out of the ordinary and called my Dad first thing in the morning.  They cancelled the debit card immediately and were debating whether to even get another one connected to their checking account. He has always been very wary about having a debit card and for the most part prefers to use credit cards and pay them off immediately.  That is a great plan if you can do that.  Problem is too many people have what I call spending addiction and can’t stop themselves when they have loads of plastic with imaginary money just waiting to be spent.  For me having a debit card is a protection in more ways than one.  First, I won’t spend more than I can afford.  Second, the issuing company, typically Visa or Mastercard, watches the accounts and provides protection for unauthorized charges and stolen cards.  If you find the right bank to deal with your responsibility for unauthorized charges will only be $50 no matter what the charge to the card.  For my parents the hope is that they caught the charges and cancelled the card soon enough before the charge can even clear.   Hopefully, doesn’t ship anything to quickly. My  Mom said the last time they used the card was at a local ALDI and she was perplexed.  Could they have taken the number there?  Oh, yes, they could have.  In recent years the card readers have been tampered with and with the advent of smart phones it is way to easy to rig up a reader to siphon numbers from unsuspecting customers.  Now I’m not saying that is what happened in this case, but it could.  Gas stations, ATMs in restaurants or other locations and whenever you have to hand your card to the cashier and are momentarily distracted there is definitely an opportunity for the unscrupulous to pull a fast one and run a card through a secondary reader.   Hackers and theives are “smart” when it comes to finding ways to steal. Not to my surprise a rising trend in bank tellers ripping off bank accounts made an appearance in our conversation.  My Mom used to be a bank teller and noted that it would be easy if the teller was in with unsavory elements to take information directly from the bank and empty bank accounts without even taking a dime from the money drawer.  It’s incredibly frustrating and infuriating that individuals are willing to defraud and hurt their fellow man in such a way for greed and ill-gotten gains. DH and I have discussed in the past how it would be possible to connect a persons eye scan or finger print to their payment forms – checking, debit or credit accounts – for the highest level of security.  For me the thought of using any part of your person as the proof of ownership scares the bejeezus out of me.  Why?  Call me a cynic who’s watched too many movies, but what would stop a thief from hurting a person to be able to steal what they have? Those don’t sound like a secure forms of payment to me. Fact of the matter is there is no such thing as a completely secure form of payment.  For every measure of security that is devised a way to circumvent it is developed.  As long as there are greedy, desperate, deceitful people on this earth we are always going to have to watch our purses, wallets, bank accounts, internet activity and so on and so forth to protect our assets and our identity.
photo credit: B Rosen via photopin cc

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