Do you worry about your details getting stolen when out with friends or family? Those fun walks, visits to restaurants, or queuing outside clubs or bars all open up a chance for valuable details to end up in the wrong hands. Credit or debit cards are easier than ever to use, and with contactless payment, remembering a PIN is no longer a worry. Hold your card next to a payment terminal, and within seconds, payments can be made. Statistics published by the FTC has credit card fraud high on their list of preferred choices for criminals with 157,688 reports made by victims in 2018. With more banks choosing to use the contactless feature on cards, you must protect your finances, and below are three simple ways.
The cheapest and simplest option for anyone who enjoys having their cards on them is to use a protector. The card slides inside the sleeve and protects the chip from being used by electronic devices. The problem with contactless debit/credit cards is that the chip is active. Few card issuers offer the choice to turn your chip off, meaning someone could scan your card and make a payment without you knowing. Even if you store your card inside a thick leather wallet, the microchip can still be scanned.
The card protector you choose should be made from nylon microfibre (a material which blocks RFID signals). The way RFID signals work is a message is sent between your card and a machine. The information sent from your card contains your bank account information, which is used to make a payment. Without this information, contactless payments can’t work.
2. Mobile Phone Apps
Mobile phones are loaded with lots of features, allowing you to connect with friends within a few pushes of a button. Phones can also be great for making payments and are a safer option instead of carrying your card with you. A quick download of Google Pay or Apple Pay (for iPhone users) allows you to make use of the NFC feature most smartphones have built-in. NFC works similar to the contactless feature on your card. Instead of using the chip inside your card, the signal is sent between your phone and the card issuer.
When you’re inside a shop, turn on the NFC feature, open the payment app, and hold your phone against the payment machine, and you’re done.
The advantages over a bank card include having the option to turn off mobile phone payments. Each time you make a payment the payment app and the NFC has to be turned on. Mobile phones also have extra security features for payments, like fingerprint scanning and on some phones iris recognition, before a payment can be made.
Along with applications like Google Pay or Apple Pay, virtual banks are also a great alternative to taking out bank cards. Accounts can be created on your phone and work similar to pre-paid cards. You top up your virtual bank account and then pay for goods. The advantages include tracking spending, and an option to order a physical card (which you can control with your mobile phone.
Going out should be fun and stress-free. The next time you are considering taking your debit or credit card out; instead switch to one of these three methods. You’ll have one less worry to think about when it comes to your finances.