The Complex Reality of Personal Data In The Credit Card Industry

It's very important to understand how your personal data is used in the credit card industry, and who is storing it. Read on!

personal data in the credit card industry
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By wk1003mike | stock photo ID: 287890574

It’s no secret we live in a digital world! We all live entirely electronically, whether it is with the Zoom meetings that are keeping us busy or the phones we’re glued to every second. What many people fail to recognize, though, is just what that means for individual safety.

We now live in a world where a person has a unique digital footprint, for which they bear some responsibility. It’s on you to know what can be stored online and where common issues arise, and we’re right here today to help with that.

This is particularly complicated when it comes to credit cards. Credit card companies store a lot of data on us. This data could put our privacy at risk. The ACLU has talked about the dangers that customers face when it comes to their personal privacy and credit cards.

All online

A vast majority of adults in the UK do at least some of their shopping online. The UK Office of National Statistics shows that roughly 30% of all retail sales are conducted over the Internet.


Amazon is ubiquitous. Amazon Prime feeds everything the average person needs with startling and polished ease, holding your credit card data so cleanly that it takes little more than a single click to make a purchase.

And where does that leave your credit card data? What’s the hard rule on that?

The answer is a little scarier than you might want to think. Credit card companies used to brand their big data strategies as a clear benefit. MasterCard announced the use of big data to help consumers more back in 2013. However, other risks have emerged.

To start with, retailers who want to perform an online transaction with you may ask if you’d like to have your card data stored online. It’s done for simple convenience, of course; the easier it is to get to that basket, the more you’ll buy.


From there, banks and retailers have options. The most common and widespread solution for data storage of any kind is the cloud, and the finance industry is no stranger to it. We’re far past the days where retailers would manually copy your card data and keep it in a folder somewhere. We now have very strict regulations all businesses must follow in regard to card data storage. This could put customers at risk.

Chief amongst these is that your card is processed using a method compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard, also known as PCI DSS for short. This laundry list of do’s and don’ts contains a comprehensive set of security requirements to keep us safe – most of the time.

Credit records

It’s slightly different where loans are concerned. Many adults who require a loan of any kind worry about that other kind of digital footprint, the credit record. This is a set of information that defines the lives of adults across the UK and the wider world every day. Essentially an accumulated record of your spending habits and history, it’s the precious kind of data needed by the loans and insurance industries to keep running.

It’s also a hold-up for many adults. Poor decisions in the past leave many of them suffering from bad credit scores, leaving them declined before their loan applications can go any further.


That’s where soft search technology comes in. With data being so important in weighing up our eligibility for many of life’s larger purposes, the ability to make enquiries for loans and more without damaging your records is a boon indeed. Using this kind of technology, applicants are empowered to be able to make applications without the worry and fear associated with having a poor credit history.

And there you have it: a little more on how your data is stored and what options are available to you as a consumer and adult. If you’re unsure about how your own bank stores your credit card and personal information, the answer is simple: ask them! They’ll be happy to go over how their processes work and to demonstrate their compliance with important legal requirements like PCI DSS. While banks have very robust security and cybersecurity, it’s important to hold them accountable as a provider of a service to you and to request clarification if you need it in any area.


Credit Card Data Exposes Privacy Concerns

Credit card companies store a tremendous amount of data on their customers. This creates a variety of privacy risks to be aware of. You should be aware of your data and privacy rights as a cardholder.