One in Two Americans Who Plan to Use Credit Cards Fearful About Credit Card Security This Holiday Season

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New survey by The Harris Poll and Lexington Law reveals that nearly two thirds of consumers plan to use cash for holiday shopping.

After so many high-profile security breaches this past year, these kinds of consumer attitudes really aren't a surprise.

More than half of American consumers are worried about credit card security, suggests a recent Lexington Law survey conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll.

Lexington Law commissioned Harris Poll to survey more than 2,000 adults age 18 and older and ask specific questions about whether their credit cards have been breached, what types of payment forms they intend to use for holiday shopping, and their feelings regarding credit card security breaches in general.

While some blame credit card companies, most Americans (70 percent) believe that retail chains are at fault for credit card breaches. The survey also revealed that 65 percent of holiday shoppers say they have used or plan to use cash to pay for their purchases compared to 61% who plan to use credit cards this holiday season.

The study, conducted in late October, found that 51 percent of Americans who plan to use a credit card for their holiday shopping are fearful of being affected by security breaches. In addition, for one of every two people, the risk of identity theft due to a credit card breach outweighs the benefits and potential rewards of using a credit card to purchase gifts.

“After so many high-profile security breaches this past year, these kinds of consumer attitudes really aren’t a surprise,” said Randy Padawer, a consumer advocate for Lexington Law, the nation’s leading credit report repair provider. “What is surprising, and perhaps disconcerting for retailers, is just how many consumers say they prefer cash instead.”

Other interesting survey highlights:

  •     41 percent of Americans who have credit cards say their cards have been compromised in some way.
  •     21 percent who have had their credit card breached said it happened in a retail store.
  •     67 percent of Americans whose credit cards had been compromised reported that the experience had not yet changed how often they use their credit cards online or in-store

“Identity theft so widely associated with credit card breaches can be extremely damaging to people’s credit scores,” Padawer added. Lexington Law’s service offering can help consumers repair the damaging effects of these, and other, events by correcting inaccurate or unsubstantiated items from their credit report. Fair and accurate credit reports lead to better credit scores and improved consumer confidence.

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Full methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States between October 29-31, 2014 among 2,022 adults, age 18 and older, by Harris Poll on behalf of Lexington Law via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words “margin of error” are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Lexington Law

Lexington Law is a consumer advocacy law firm with decades of experience, helping hundreds of thousands of Americans work to improve their credit. The firm comprises the largest network of credit repair professionals in the U.S., employing a growing staff of 26 attorneys and 200+ paralegals/agents across 19 states. By leveraging consumer rights to legally resolve issues with creditors and credit bureaus, Lexington works to ensure that client credit reports are fair, accurate, and substantiated. For details about Lexington Law’s services, attorneys, or statistics visit: http://www.lexingtonlaw.com.

About The Harris Poll

Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us for more information.

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Celeste Edmunds, PR Coordinator
Credit Repair
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