A guide to why features like PayPass and payWave can be safer than your traditional debit cards.
Many transactions can be paid with a contactless swipe of your credit or debit card. It’s certainly easier than putting in your PIN every time you buy something, but is it safe?
This is probably one of the most common questions asked concerning this technology. Fortunately, Visa payWave and Mastercard PayPass have several precautions in place to help keep your bank information and money safe.
Is my card protected?
For every transaction you make, your card generates a unique code that prevents you from being billed twice. Even if you accidentally tapped your card twice, you will not be billed. The card has to be four centimetres away from the reader so you can’t pay for other people’s transactions. Visa and Mastercard both have encryption technology that protects your data and money from theft and fraud. You don’t have to hand your card to the retailer making it easier to avoid fraudulent activity.
Visa Zero Liability
For those using the Visa payWave system, you are covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy. The policy states that "you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges or unauthorised purchases made with your card or account information". If you do find fraudulent transactions on your debit card statement, Visa requires that your bank refunds the transactions within 5 days of letting them know.
Mastercard Zero Liability
Your Mastercard is protected under its liability policy. You are covered by this policy if you meet the following 5 conditions:
- You have proved due diligence in safeguarding your card from risk of loss, theft or unauthorised use.
- You immediately notify your card issuer or bank when you've found the fraudulent transaction
- In the last year, you haven't reported two or more cases of fraudulent transactions
- Your bank account is in good standing (so no negative balance)
- You have followed the terms and conditions of using the debit card
Can the card be read through clothes and wallets?
Many people have claimed they can “download” people’s banking information by using data reading equipment. Kristin Paget demonstrated this at the Schmoocon hacker conference. Paget showed the audience she could obtain any credit card number with a Vivotech RFID credit card reader.
However, now the new cards have come out and have certain features that prevent this type of fraud. The cardholder’s name, PIN and card verification value (CVV) number are unable to be read by credit card readers. These new cards also have a one time only CVV code with every scan which means the code can only be used for one transaction. If the code is used more than once, your card will be cancelled.Back to top
What are the pros and cons of using PayPass and payWave?
- Convenient as you just need to “tap and pay” using your credit card or mobile phone without using a PIN or signing a receipt.
- Usually linked to cash back offers.
- Gives you peace of mind as you’re protected against fraud.
- Reduces threat of hackers who may scan cards and steal valuable information (encryption technology).
- Retailers no longer have access to your credit card information.
- There is a risk of spyware or malware attacks and other viruses like any other computer device in the terminal.
- You can’t change the limit or choose the limit per transaction as chosen by the bank.
- You may lose your credit card and your account information may be compromised.
- Only a few users have adapted to this technology so it might create confusion or frustration among users. Not all consumers are educated on this technology.
Compare PayPass and payWave debit cards below
Tap and go cards are no less risky than the standard contact cards with PINs and signatures. No matter what type of card you have, there is always going to be some sort of risk of loss or theft involved.