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There's safety in contactless payments

Finextra recently sat down with Richard Allen, principal consultant at Consullt Hyperion. The firm recently set up a dedicated unit looking at card fraud and all the 'scary things' being perpetrated by hackers. The video is here.

Although Allen does talk about the success of chip and pin and services like 'Verified by Visa' in reducing card fraud, he offers a rosy picture of contactless payments.

People are very concerned with contactless payments, he says. Some wonder whether, if they have a contactless card in their pocket someone may be able to extract that information, or somehow evesdrop onto a payment and extract personal information.

Howevever, he says, the contactless payments industry is well prepared for those types of attacks. If any hacker were able to steal the information that may travel over a millimeter of space, that information would be useless to the hacker.

In fact, he says, bank fraud trends in the future are less likely to come from contactless payments than other payments industries.

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Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 27 October, 2009, 03:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The last statement may prove to be true - perhaps when they have ceased to be used for online banking and payments.

Jonathan Rosenne
Jonathan Rosenne - QSM Programming Ltd. - Tel Aviv 27 October, 2009, 16:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It would be nice to have some specifics concerning contactless, e.g. how does one prevent a legitimate merchant randomly charging passers-by with the help of a powerfull antenna and a modified terminal?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 29 October, 2009, 12:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I believe that the cards and e-passport can be read from up to 500m whilst the card is being read.

I also found Coron, Naccache and Tibouchi's attack interesting.