It may be quicker and easier to tap or wave your debit card over an EFTPOS machine, but contactless payment technology brings added security risks with it.
This kind of data transmission should be familiar to us, with many identification and security cards employing the technology, as well as a number of public transport systems around Australia.
But contactless debit cards (and credit cards) are different to these other options in one very important way: they contain your banking details.
While the more familiar debit card model held information on the magnetic stripe and embedded microchip, the only way it transmitted the information was when you swiped or inserted the card into a terminal.
Contactless debit cards, on the other hand, can transmit data without coming into physical contact with a machine.
And the use of RFID has opened up the door for hackers to find other ways to get our card details. As Forbes recently reported, there are now some smartphone apps being developed that could gain access to your debit card details under the right (or wrong, rather) circumstances.
Smartphones are one of the many everyday devices we use that use RFID, and the fact that they are so common has made people worry about the security of new debit cards.
How Big Are The Risks With Contactless Payment Cards?
While there are security risks to using contactless payment cards, the chances of it leading to debit card fraud are slim at the moment.
One of the most important things to note is that both MasterCard and Visa have designed their debit cards so that they only transmit data when they are within a few centimetres of a processing machine.
This means someone would have to be centimetres from your card or wallet before they could even consider lifting the information from the card.
But even if you were unfortunate enough to have something go wrong, the zero liability policies offered by these processors would cover all the costs and unauthorised transactions associated.
There is bound to be a lot of controversy around new technology, as well as some adjustments to when and how we use our cards, but determining what is fact and what is fiction will help you get the most out of contactless technology.
After all, it is designed to make using debit cards easier so that you can pay as quickly as possible wherever you are.