The Pros and Cons of Contactless Credit Cards
Contactless credit cards are the way of the future. Initially met with some resistance, this form of conducting a transaction is becoming more popular. The resistance tends to stem from a tendency to mistrust new technology rather than any particular issues with the cards themselves, but this mistrust has been apparent whenever something new has come along. Credit cards themselves were initially subject to the same scrutiny, yet nowadays, no-one would doubt that they are incredibly useful when conducting transactions on line.
The disadvantage of credit cards is that they are still relatively easy for thieves to target, although the protection that the credit card companies offer can recompense any fraudulent payments.
The advantages of contactless cards may not be immediately obvious, especially when issues of security are considered, but there are many benefits to this means of payment. Security is a particular cause for concern in this day and age and there are many examples whereby credit cards have been duplicated or the details stolen, either by unscrupulous employees or by sophisticated thieves. Contactless cards can help cut down on this problem, by keeping the card details away from prying eyes. The card can stay in your wallet and handbag, with the details being read via radio signals, so the expiry date and CVV are kept secret.
The first question that rises to the mind is that if the till machine can read your card, then so can another device and, considering the advances in technology, these devices can be hidden in pockets or bags too.
The main difference between a normal magnetic strip and the contactless chip is that each time you conduct a transaction with the chip, a unique number for that transaction is generated and it is only that specific number that is sent to the till machine. When you use a typical magnetic strip, your card number is sent to the machine, so a record of that number is stored and can be copied using a strip scanner. The establishment that you are conducting business with will also have to have a security code and the “right type” of reader. It is not just any reader that will work, so the likelihood of your details being stolen in this manner is extremely low.
Furthermore, you can limit the amount you can use in one transaction without confirmation and then, even in the unlikely scenario that your card is read by an illegal reader, that reader will only get information about that one transaction and not about your credit card details.
One noted side effect of using contactless credit cards is that people tend to spend more when not using cash. With this as a warning, you will be encouraged to keep a sharper eye on your bills, which is essentially the best way to make sure that no illegal transactions are taking place.
If you already have a credit card and are used to dealing with your account in a responsible manner, then a contactless card will probably be the next step that you take. A contactless card makes life faster, safer and easier and a look at any of the comparison websites will show that these cards are being incorporated more and more often. They are the wave of the future.
Article provided by Sam, credit card expert at moneysupermarket, the UK’s number one comparison website.