Terbium Labs: Mobile Payments Users Plan to Blame the Bank for Any Compromised Data

November 21, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

No one wants to be on the bad end of a data breach, and for the most part, it seems to be the kind of thing the consumer has very little control over. The consumer scans his or her card, uses his or her mobile payments mechanism, and takes possession of his or her merchandise. Beyond that, not a lot of thought is given on the consumer’s level. Behind the scenes, however, a lot is going on, and plenty of moving parts offer the potential for failure. A new report sent our way from Terbium Labs says that, as such, customers are planning to blame the bank if anything goes wrong at any point.

The study, dubbed eye-catchingly enough “How Fraud Stole Christmas”, discovered that 68 percent of customers are actively planning to hold their bank responsible—to at least some degree—for fraudulent activity. The circumstances behind the fraud didn’t particularly matter, either, though the degree of blame may shift accordingly.

The report went on to note that Americans were particularly sensitive to fraud going into the holiday season, with 66 percent of respondents believing they could “easily become a victim of fraud.” Almost as many—65 percent—believed that holiday shopping would actually put them at a higher risk for fraud.

To be sure, some people are behaving reasonably; 51 percent of shoppers say they’d blame the original source of the breach. Fair enough, but fully 17 percent say they’d hold their financial institution—and only their financial institution—accountable. Twenty-six percent, meanwhile, would stay, but only with a clear action plan in place to improve security from the institution in question.

The problem is that most of the time, breaches happen at the retailer level. Banks are seldom broken into for data or for money for the same reason: security is tight. Capital-everything tight. A breach is much more likely to take place at the operational level, at the stores or websites, since security is looser for the sake of easier access.

Misplacing blame will not help, and blaming the banks for the failings of retail stores, websites, and even individual customers won’t help. We all have a role to play in improving mobile payments security, so let’s step up and play it to the hilt.