With the increased popularity of Tap to Pay cards, you may be curious about the safety of using those cards. Can a card that can wirelessly transmit information be secure? The points below explain the features of Tap to Pay technology:
- Tap to Pay cards use Near Field Communication (NFC), which enables a device to securely transmit and receive information over a short range.
- Contactless payments do not transmit information like a cardholder’s name, the three-digit security code on the back of the card, or billing information like zip code. Instead, along with the account information, a one-time-only code is sent from the card or device to the reader to identify each individual transaction.
- Tap to Pay technology uses radio-frequency identification that can be used with cards, as well as phones, watches, and other wearable devices.
- Cards must be within 1-2 inches of a payment terminal for a purchase to go through.
To date, there have not been any reports of successful exploitation of the Tap to Pay cards.
Fraudsters have been able to bypass the daily limit set by the card issuer, but there haven’t been reports of successful ways to steal the card details or unique transaction identification numbers. As with any item that holds your personally identifiable information, if you lose a contactless card, contact your financial institution to have the card disabled as soon as possible.
As the usage of Tap to Pay cards increases, so will the desire to bypass security controls for fraudulent purposes. It’s important to always remain vigilant no matter how you choose to pay for your purchases.
Jessica Overton oversees Information Security Vulnerability Management for Regions Bank. She and her team consistently work to protect customers from fraud and minimize cybersecurity risks.