We’re exposed.

The second we flash out payment cards, no matter how discretely, our banking information splays open for the hacker’s taking. I don’t need to list out the number of breaches, but one too many have affected millions of consumers.

Ultimately, one fact beams clearly: the days of traditional shopping no longer offer the peace of mind for security.

In fact, a Huffington Post article cautioned that hackers depend upon cash registers and payment cards’ magnetic strip to extract personal data. Nicholas Weaver, Senior Researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, confirmed that “for hackers, data from physical cards ‘is significantly easier and therefore more profitable to use.’”

With the erosion of manual safety, we need to look to digital options that eliminate these vulnerable touch points. When Apple introduced the world to Apple Pay, they substantially elevated the standards for mobile commerce and data security.

Stop Storing Payment Data

Data breaches are a mass heist of personal record. Why offer hackers resources to leverage? Technologies like, Tokenization, mask a shield over your payment information with purchases made via mobile devices by creating a one time single use number for each unique purchase instead of perpetually caching payment data that can be used over and over again, such as a primary account number, pin, etc.

Basically, merchants no longer hold troves of data that the fraudsters want and this effectively stops the “nuclear attack”. We won’t see the massive compromise of data anymore since the data is rendered useless if stolen. 

Payment Localization

Our mobile devises also serve as a portable itinerary of where we’ve been and where we tend to go. From GPS searches and social media check-ins, our mobile devices are the ideal tool to identify unusual purchases or to quash a theft attempt on the spot. If someone attempts to hack your card from a strange location, it shouldn’t even pass the first stage of user authentication.

Likewise, look at Near Field Communication (NFC) technology: standards for smartphones to connect with each other via GPS tracking. If another user attempts to hack into someone’s smartphone or banking information, a beacon flares up notifications of unusual activity from an unusual location.

Leverage Our Tools for Our Benefit

At the end of the day, digital commerce will enhance security with the tools already glued to our fingertips. Today, brick and mortar commerce feels like an unsynchronized puzzle where loose parts offer opportunities for chaos.

We’re already syncing up with digital tools in our businesses and personal lives. It only makes sense to make this step for our shopping.