Friday, December 09, 2011

Debit/ Credit Card System Shift Needed?

We seem to keep hearing more and more about debit and credit card scams lately. Nearly 500 Bay Area Lucky supermarket customers just got hit for big bucks by card skimmers. Hundreds more Ukiah area folk got hit by what seems to be a separate but similar operation.

I'm thinking maybe we need to change the way we, and the businesses we deal with, use debit and credit cards? Or maybe just switch to using cash? Nah. Not sure I could handle cash only anymore.

I'm wondering if more businesses ought to develop their own debit or credit cards? Many already do. Renner Petroleum has their own cards. The good thing about theirs is they can't be used anywhere but Renner cardlock stations. Bad guys can't use the card info to access ATMs, or even for gas from other branded gas stations. I would think that makes the card inherently safer and also makes Renner cardlock stations a much less desirable target for skimmers.

I noticed the other day while I was at Antich Automotive in Eureka there was an offer for a NAPA auto repair credit card- no interest if you pay off the balance within six months. I actually thought about getting one as I was running my debit card through their scanner and telling the Antich gal about the Lucky supermarket rip- offs.

Seems to me it would make sense, although I'm not sure how much of a hassle and expense it would be for a supermarket to have their own cards. Regardless, my guess would be that, had those Lucky customers used a Lucky credit or debit card for their purchases, maybe they wouldn't have had hundreds of dollars taken from their accounts via ATMs?


At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Eel River Ernie said...

I had to cancel my card two weeks ago as it was compromised on a trip to Sacramento. I let it out of my view at Louie Ciaro's in Williams and used it at two different Safeways in Roseville which were the only times I have used the card in over a month prior to that. The next thing I know the bank is calling me to see if I was buying stuff at Target in Livermore. The bank closed the account and reimbursed the amount of the purchases.

With rare exception I am going to just start using credit cards from now on.


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