The pandemic causes contactless cards, already common, to surge in use. They account for more than half of transactions in Australia and several other countries and are quickly becoming the default as new cards are rolled out in the US. All newly issued Bank of America credit cards are contactless-enabled and “most American Express products have contactless technology,” the company says.
RFID cards can only be read by legitimate payment terminals with radio frequency displays. However, these devices can also be read by other devices that have the same capabilities. In addition to facilitating a fraudster’s activities, this capability could result in security breaches such as credit card information being collected without your knowledge at any point in range.
As RFID cards began production in the early part of the decade, there were predictions that new technology would become illegal pick pocketers. In trials, researchers demonstrated how it would be done and a new marketplace was born.
There are now pocket-sized RFID blocking devices that are preventing crimes. You can buy these protective accessories with pockets that block out anyone’s card information or reader theft on a budget.
There is a noticeable absence of reports on the topic of information theft from RFID credit cards in scientific journals, but the majority of experts agree that this doesn’t happen. The ITRC’s Eva Velasquez says that ‘it doesn’t seem to be something that would be published in scientific journals’.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tagging can easily be penetrated, which enables people to steal your identity or conduct fraudulent transactions. However, ITRC claims that the risk of hacking is not justifiable due to other risks for an individual.
Many people have commented on the fact that it would be much more difficult to steal someone’s credit card information from a traditional store rather than for someone to obtain it on the Dark Web.
The ITRC further explained that there is nothing wrong with using a Rfid protected wallet which provides some extra peace of mind, so long as people remain vigilant in taking other security precautions when it comes to something like credit reports and passwords.
Enhanced Security Features to keep your data secure
With today’s contactless credit cards, you still need to input your account number and an encrypted one-time code to complete each transaction. Because the card chip only sends your account number and a session encryption key when you “tap” to pay, credit card security is more secure.
Experts point out that even if someone had physical contact with a card reader, they would have to crack the bank’s complex algorithm in order to create another one-time code. Contactless payment options like Apple Pay and Android Pay use NFC, a version of RFID, and require further authentication from the user, making them even more secure.
One of the realities will likely be that a person who steals your contactless credit card can use it easily at a tap-to-pay terminal. With no PIN required, and in theory lower limits from the companies on purchases through contactless payments, criminals find it easy to make large scale purchases with ease. Consequently, some card companies have changed their payment limits for contactless terminals since COVID.