(CNBC) We're finally on the brink of the cashless society that futurists and other have been forecasting for years. The average consumer owns at least two credit cards and early adopters have begun ditching plastic for virtual wallets. Even businesses that used to rely heavily on cash — think taxis, food trucks or even craft fairs — can now go cashless, thanks to new technology like Square.
Yet, the more we abandon paper bills for plastic, smartphone payments and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the perils of the new, cashless economy are becoming more apparent. Recent security breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers illustrate the vulnerability of electronic payments to hacking attacks.