RFID credit card: What is it and is it safe?

RFID contactless cards are a type of technology that is utilized to make payment for goods and services by simply tapping the card on the terminal. Their convenience and reliability has made them popular in many countries including Australia, Canada and France.

With the concern of contact with surfaces, millions of people in the United States turned to RFID cards. Though these advances raise concern for safety, they also have a lot to offer. If you are wondering how safe your RFID card is, you’re in for some great news.

What is an RFID credit card and how does it work?

Credit cards equipped with FMID technology communicate without a hard connection to the contactless payment terminal.

Fueled by RFID technology, your card never has to leave your possession, minimizing the chances of leaving your card in an ATM or card reader. Your card gets processed immediately–saving the customer time and money.

How to determine if your card is RFID-enabled

If you’re unsure whether your credit card is RFID-enabled, a good way to check is that it has the RFID chip.

These cards have an RFID symbol on the front or back, which is designed to represent the radio frequency emitted by the card as it facilitates transactions contactlessly.

If your card has the contactless symbol, you should be able to make purchases with a wave or a tap. To be sure, test it the next time you go to a store. When you’re at the checkout, look for that logo on the card reader (it looks like a jolly roger). Simply tap your card on the payment terminal to complete your transaction.

How secure are RFID credit cards?

RFID cards are considered to be as safe as EMV chip cards because there is not a large potential for data theft. RFID cards use a unique frequency and send information only to the card-reader which means that thieves cannot easily know what information is being shared.

You can think of an RFID card as any other credit card, but they’re a lot more secure. Every time with your RFID card, a new code is generated, so it’s not as easy to steal or compromise your information.

Do you need RFID-blocking protection?

For this reason, many products were developed that claim to block RFID. One such product is sleeves that prevent the card information from getting picked up or protected by RFID wallet.

However, these solutions are not necessary to keep your RFID information safe. To compromise your card details, a person would need to get physically close to you, use an RFID-enabled reader, and have minimal obstacles between the card and reader.

It is theoretically possible for someone to steal your credit, but they would have to work quite hard at it.

Tips for preventing losing your credit card

The security options with the cards make them the most secure credit cards out there. However, it’s still smart to take precautions as some companies that offer these cards have had security flaws in the past.

For starters, consider setting up mobile alerts for all of your credit cards to prevent fraudulent usage. This will give you a notification any time your card is being used and allows you to easily identify fraud when it happens.

In order to avoid losing your password or forgetting it, make sure you have a strong password for your online accounts and use a password management app like Dashlane or LastPass.

It’s also important to review your credit card statements and credit report. These tools can give you a detailed look at how your card is being used and help create an informed budget.

With the ability to tap your card, there’s no need for a wallet for when you’re shopping. Even without a wallet, most materials will prevent would-be scammers from tapping your credit card without their knowledge.