When banks offered their clients the first payment cards equipped with technology allowing contactless payments, one could not see much interest in having them. It was just that people were saying that it was not a safe technology, so they can quickly get rid of their savings. However, over time, more and more Poles decided to use such cards, to which we were somehow “forced” by the banks, because often when exchanging cards we get a new one, which is equipped with such technology. So let’s think about whether the contactless card is safe and whether we can use it safely.
How the contactless card works
The proximity card in appearance does not differ from the standard card. However, in addition to a magnetic stripe or chip, it has a miniature integrated circuit and a radio antenna. Thanks to these two elements, the card can use NFC technology, otherwise known as short-range technology. When we make a payment, the card is activated for a moment to send the appropriate information, allowing you to make a transaction. For this purpose, we are approaching the card to a special terminal that can handle such a card, and the transaction is carried out automatically. With lower amounts we do not have to provide our PIN, but it is required if the transaction amount exceeds the set limit. Everything is done instantly and does not require a lot of commitment from us.
What security the contactless card has
Banks try to secure proximity cards in various ways. This is to inspire confidence in customers and make them more willing to use them. So how are our money protected? As we have already mentioned, the contactless card “activates” only when it sends a signal about the payment made. If we do not use it – the card is inactive, thanks to which no unauthorized person will take over its data. Thanks to the fact that it immediately “extinguishes” after payment, there is no way we could pay for one transaction twice, or pay for the purchase of a person who is next to us. Because the contactless card is in our hands all the time, thieves have a difficult task if they want to see what data is on it. But one of the best proximity card protections are transaction limits. First of all, it is a one-time limit for paying with a contactless card, and secondly, a daily one that we can use. In the first case, we can establish with the bank that we want the contactless payment to be possible only if the transaction amount does not exceed, for example, PLN 50. Above this amount will be required to use an additional security which is a PIN number. In the second case, we can set a daily limit of such transactions for e.g. PLN 100. If transactions are for a higher amount on a given day, you will again need to apply an additional security, which is the PIN number. If, after all, we still do not feel safe using the proximity card, we can buy special insurance (it costs from 5 zlotys a month), thanks to which the money will be returned to us if you use the card’s data and use it for criminal purposes.
Proximity cards are convenient to use, which is what more and more people pay attention to. In addition, they are more and more secure, so it is not surprising that they are increasingly in our wallets. There is no indication that this trend should be reversed, so we can be sure that in stores more and more often we will be noticing people who make payments using a proximity card.