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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Dangers of Contactless Cards

There has been some controversy over the security of "contactless" payment cards (which don't require Pin numbers, merely contact with a reader for payments of up to £20).

All well and good, so long as the right card makes the payment and the wrong one doesn't make a payment when it merely passes by a reader (primed to deduct a payment) because it is in someone's pocket/wallet.

The banking industry have denied there is such a problem.

However, First Direct has written to its customers, as per the Telegraph:
"We have made changes to clarify that if you have a contactless debit card you must remove it from your wallet or purse before using it to make a contactless payment."
A spokeswoman said:
"If you don't remove cards from your wallet there is a danger the payment may be taken from the wrong card. It could be a bit of a nightmare if it came from a card where there wasn't enough money."
In other words there is a potential problem with these cards, not least the possibility that a suitably well positioned felon (ie standing near a person who has a contactless card) with technical knowledge could electronically pick your pocket!

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