‘Tap and go’ fears allayed

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) insists that fears that bank clients may have about contactless bank cards or “tap and go”, in the wake of a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, are groundless.

Kalyani Pillay, CEO of Sabric says: “A video trending on social media may have created the incorrect impression that contactless cards are easy to exploit by criminals.

“This is simply not true. Contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards, and Sabric has not received any reported crime incidents where ‘tap and go’ cards have been exploited.”

Contactless technology was introduced for the convenience of cardholders and while relatively new in South Africa, has been available for some time.

The convenience lies in the fact that these cards can merely be tapped on a near-field communication (NFC) point of sale (POS) device to make certain payments, which is quick and easy for the card holder.

Videos online suggest that criminals could exploit contactless technology and steal money by simply tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a victim’s bank card.

Stealing money by tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a bank client’s card is not likely.

Acquiring an NFC POS device involves a rigorous vetting process by the issuing bank, which includes the mandatory submission of Know Your Customer documentation.

In addition, banks also monitor merchant transaction activity and conduct merchant site visits.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) insists that fears that bank clients may have about contactless bank cards or “tap and go”, in the wake of a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, are groundless.

“A video trending on social media may have created the incorrect impression that contactless cards are easy to exploit by criminals. This is simply not true. Contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards, and Sabric has not received any reported crime incidents where ‘tap and go’ cards have been exploited”, says Kalyani Pillay, CEO of Sabric.

Contactless technology was introduced for the convenience of cardholders and while relatively new in South Africa, has been available for some time. The convenience lies in the fact that these cards can merely be tapped on a near-field communication (NFC) point of sale (POS) device to make certain payments, which is quick and easy for the card holder. Videos online suggest that criminals could exploit contactless technology and steal money or card data by simply tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a victim’s bank card.

Stealing money by tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a bank client’s card is not likely. Acquiring an NFC POS device involves a rigorous vetting process by the issuing bank, which includes the mandatory submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. In addition, banks also monitor merchant transaction activity and conduct merchant site visits. Should any irregularities be identified, an investigation will be launched immediately, says Pillay.

Stealing card data is also not a viable option for criminals, as merely holding an NFC-enabled POS device close to a bank card will not provide enough information to enable fraudulent card-not-present transactions.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) insists that fears that bank clients may have about contactless bank cards or “tap and go”, in the wake of a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, are groundless.

“A video trending on social media may have created the incorrect impression that contactless cards are easy to exploit by criminals. This is simply not true. Contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards, and Sabric has not received any reported crime incidents where ‘tap and go’ cards have been exploited”, says Kalyani Pillay, CEO of Sabric.

Contactless technology was introduced for the convenience of cardholders and while relatively new in South Africa, has been available for some time. The convenience lies in the fact that these cards can merely be tapped on a near-field communication (NFC) point of sale (POS) device to make certain payments, which is quick and easy for the card holder. Videos online suggest that criminals could exploit contactless technology and steal money or card data by simply tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a victim’s bank card.

Stealing money by tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a bank client’s card is not likely. Acquiring an NFC POS device involves a rigorous vetting process by the issuing bank, which includes the mandatory submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. In addition, banks also monitor merchant transaction activity and conduct merchant site visits. Should any irregularities be identified, an investigation will be launched immediately, says Pillay.

Stealing card data is also not a viable option for criminals, as merely holding an NFC-enabled POS device close to a bank card will not provide enough information to enable fraudulent card-not-present transactions.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) insists that fears that bank clients may have about contactless bank cards or “tap and go”, in the wake of a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, are groundless.

“A video trending on social media may have created the incorrect impression that contactless cards are easy to exploit by criminals. This is simply not true. Contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards, and Sabric has not received any reported crime incidents where ‘tap and go’ cards have been exploited”, says Kalyani Pillay, CEO of Sabric.

Contactless technology was introduced for the convenience of cardholders and while relatively new in South Africa, has been available for some time. The convenience lies in the fact that these cards can merely be tapped on a near-field communication (NFC) point of sale (POS) device to make certain payments, which is quick and easy for the card holder.

Videos online suggest that criminals could exploit contactless technology and steal money or card data by simply tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a victim’s bank card.

Stealing money by tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a bank client’s card is not likely. Acquiring an NFC POS device involves a rigorous vetting process by the issuing bank, which includes the mandatory submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. In addition, banks also monitor merchant transaction activity and conduct merchant site visits. Should any irregularities be identified, an investigation will be launched immediately, says Pillay.

Stealing card data is also not a viable option for criminals, as merely holding an NFC-enabled POS device close to a bank card will not provide enough information to enable fraudulent card-not-present transactions­.

South African-issued contactless cards are embedded with a radio frequency ID tag, identifiable by the WiFi-type symbol, which is then read together with the card’s EMV chip which is encrypted. Even if a criminal tapped a victim’s contactless card using an NFC POS device near their wallet or bag, all they would get is the card number and expiry date. Neither the CVV nor the PIN would be exposed, both of which the criminal would need to make fraudulent online purchases­.

“It is unlikely that organised criminals will be targeting this capability to steal money or card data, as the reward will be insignificant compared to other modus operandi at their disposal,” says Pillay.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) insists that fears that bank clients may have about contactless bank cards or “tap and go”, in the wake of a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, are groundless.

“A video trending on social media may have created the incorrect impression that contactless cards are easy to exploit by criminals. This is simply not true. Contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards, and Sabric has not received any reported crime incidents where ‘tap and go’ cards have been exploited”, says Kalyani Pillay, CEO of Sabric.

Contactless technology was introduced for the convenience of cardholders and while relatively new in South Africa, has been available for some time. The convenience lies in the fact that these cards can merely be tapped on a near-field communication (NFC) point of sale (POS) device to make certain payments, which is quick and easy for the card holder. Videos online suggest that criminals could exploit contactless technology and steal money or card data by simply tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a victim’s bank card.

Stealing money by tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a bank client’s card is not likely. Acquiring an NFC POS device involves a rigorous vetting process by the issuing bank, which includes the mandatory submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. In addition, banks also monitor merchant transaction activity and conduct merchant site visits. Should any irregularities be identified, an investigation will be launched immediately, says Pillay.

Stealing card data is also not a viable option for criminals, as merely holding an NFC-enabled POS device close to a bank card will not provide enough information to enable fraudulent card-not-present transactions.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) insists that fears that bank clients may have about contactless bank cards or “tap and go”, in the wake of a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, are groundless.

“A video trending on social media may have created the incorrect impression that contactless cards are easy to exploit by criminals. This is simply not true. Contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards, and Sabric has not received any reported crime incidents where ‘tap and go’ cards have been exploited”, says Kalyani Pillay, CEO of Sabric.

Contactless technology was introduced for the convenience of cardholders and while relatively new in South Africa, has been available for some time. The convenience lies in the fact that these cards can merely be tapped on a near-field communication (NFC) point of sale (POS) device to make certain payments, which is quick and easy for the card holder. Videos online suggest that criminals could exploit contactless technology and steal money or card data by simply tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a victim’s bank card.

Stealing money by tapping an NFC-enabled POS device near enough to a bank client’s card is not likely. Acquiring an NFC POS device involves a rigorous vetting process by the issuing bank, which includes the mandatory submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. In addition, banks also monitor merchant transaction activity and conduct merchant site visits. Should any irregularities be identified, an investigation will be launched immediately, says Pillay.

Stealing card data is also not a viable option for criminals, as merely holding an NFC-enabled POS device close to a bank card will not provide enough information to enable fraudulent card-not-present transactions.