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Internet users are more likely to name credit cards as the safest payment method for their purchases, whether in-store or offline, than any other method. But the two channels had very different runners-up.
According to July 2016 polling from merchant payment services firm TSYS, more than two in five internet users who owned both a debit and a credit card said credit cards were the safest way to buy online, and 35% said they were also safest in brick-and-mortar stores.
In stores, cash came very close, however: 32% of internet users said it was the safest way to pay. Online, meanwhile, PayPal was a somewhat more distant No. 2.
Debit cards, meanwhile were named safest by just 12% of internet users when buying online, while 18% of those surveyed said they were the safest in-store.
It’s worth noting that one in ten said they had no preference, which could mean that they found all payment methods to be safe, or even that they found none of them to be.
But this confidence in credit cards may be somewhat new.
For example, in 2013, 33% said they preferred to pay by credit; in 2016, that number is 40%, higher than either debit cards or cash. But it’s not due as much to a surge in preference for credit card payments as it is a sharp decline in preference for debit card payment. Cash has consistently been preferred by around 10% of respondents.
But US internet users still demand a solid backing when making mobile payments via their credit cards: 71% told Citi Cards in April 2016 that the primary type of company they would trust to give their credit card information to when using a mobile payment service would be a service backed by an established bank that they knew.
So US internet users trust credit cards more than any other payment type to make their payments wherever—but helps when companies can offer name recognition and security.
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