Financial expert on cash vs. credit or debit cards - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Financial expert on cash vs. credit or debit cards

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Millions of people have had their credit and debit card information stolen in the security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus. People are now questioning which form of payment is safer--cash or cards?

"You use your card, think it's safe. It's not," Arthur Perry said. He's been scared away from using his debit card due to the recent security breaches.

"I'll be using cash from now on. If they can do that at Target, they can do it anywhere, Wal-mart. Until they get it straightened out, I'll be using cash," Perry said.

Stewart Welch, a financial advisor with The Welch Group, says this is a time consumers should be thinking about how to better protect themselves. If you always use your debit card, it's becoming risky.

"I do think it's safer to use cash in a situation where you're talking about credit card theft," he said.

"I think this is going to be one of the big financial stories of 2014. I think you're going to see an assault on retail companies. Everyone is using their credit cards at retail companies. So I think they'll be at risk. More people are going to have fraud perpetrated on them," Welch said.

So Welch expects people to start using cash more and debit cards less. Although it's a safer form of payment, there's only one problem with that.

"The one thing if you're carrying around a lot of cash, you may be a victim of personal theft or personal robbery, so you want to be careful about that," Welch said.

But not everyone is left worried. Yolanda Russell says she's sticking with swiping her debit card, but she is also staying mindful of hackers out there now targeting retailers.

"It's scary to think about it happening, but you just have to be careful. Banks are insured, so. I check my online banking daily. I monitor my charges," Russell said.

Welch advises people to either write checks or use your credit card instead of your debit card.

He says if your credit card information is stolen, it may be easier to get that taken care of through the credit card company, as opposed to your checking account being wiped out..

Your bank has to investigate the situation and it could take a couple of weeks before you get your hard earned money back into your account.

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