What’s in my wallet? The answer changes by the day. I’m one that likes to minimize the thickness of my wallet to make it more comfortable when I sit on hard chairs or, when I travel, I go extreme and take it all the way to the minimum to make airport screening easier. I leave my CafeRio frequent diner cards, my personal business visas and decide whether I want my American Express or if I should just leave home without it. Sometimes I even leave my entry badge for work (Thanks to all my coworkers who have had to let me in the day after a trip because I forgot to put my badge back in my wallet).
But this year has seen some changes like never before. This year I have swapped out cards more times than I can count. But in this case, I was swapping out compromised cards for new “uncompromised” cards. In fact, it seems like my cards never look worn anymore. I used to pride myself that I had my cards memorized, like my Discover card – 6011 – xxxx – xxxx – xxxx but now it seems like a futile goal.
I’m a pretty safe person when it comes to where I throw out my card or order online, but that didn’t keep me safe this year. Now I benefit from three credit monitoring services and I have a really cool card with a chip in it.
What do I want in my wallet? A card issued by a company that values its security as much as I value mine and I want to spend it at companies that get security. Companies that understand the value of being PCI -DSS compliant. Retailers that see that this quarter’s profits should be spent to protect their customers and their reputation.
We have a wallet-less future on the horizon but will it be any more secure? Near Field Communications, and technology like it, will be nearly ubiquitous in coming years. But does that mean your information is more available to potential thieves? Or will we finally find a way to truly secure our digital payments? That seems highly unlikely. If you don’t believe me, watch this video of a man who uses a cell phone to clone credit cards.
The cost of losing your information isn’t just what gets stolen, but the cost of resetting passwords, ordering new cards and companies that have to provide identity monitoring services for years to come. Your credit card number might be worth $1 on the black market ($10 if it is your Personal Healthcare Information), but the breach and security monitoring that comes after the breach is discovered costs companies millions per year. The real cost here is arguably one of inconvenience and the potential for identity theft.
What’s making it’s way back in my wallet? Cash, because I feel safer carrying around a hundred dollar bill than swiping a magnet strip or reading a chip.