Xiring launches contactless payments security tool

Source: Xiring

Xiring, the leading security solutions provider for remote transactions, today launches the CL Watcher which allows consumers to secure their contactless payments.

Payment solutions based on contactless smart cards are now largely deployed in the USA and Asia, and are currently being trialled in Europe (there are an estimated 40 million contactless payment smart cards worldwide). Contactless technology brings a new ultra fast face to face payment solution for small amounts; up to 20 USD in the US; between 15 and 25 EUR in Europe. Under this limit, the transaction is completed within 30 seconds; above this amount, the customer has to sign off the transaction on the receipt or electronically with a PIN code.

The contactless payment method is a technological innovation enabling a new service: an ultra fast face-to-face payment solution. However, in a contactless payment situation, where there is no PIN verification and no need to insert a card, a payment can be made very easily and it is difficult to confirm whether it has been made voluntarily or not. As a result, security concerns arise.

The smart card industry, through Eurosmart, recognises the inherent security risks of this technology (see white paper published on: eurosmart.com) and recommends adopting preventative security measures against unwanted activation (by modern pickpockets), by protecting the contactless card through a metal shielding whilst it is not in use.

To hand back the management and control of payments to consumers, XIRING has designed the 'CL Watcher'. CL Watcher provides dual functionality:
  • Blocking the contactless card functionality: until the consumer unequivocally agrees a payment, a payment cannot be completed;
  • Checking: the LCD screen displays the amount paid (EMV transactions).

The consumer keeps their contactless card in the CL Watcher. In order to pay, the consumer holds his CL Watcher close to the contactless antenna and presses the button to deactivate the blocking function. This unequivocal direction from the user stops the blocking and the transaction can be made. Once the transaction is completed, the CL Watcher displays the amount paid.

CL Watcher provides issuers with an immediate technology solution to address legitimate consumer security concerns:
  • Security is the main reason people have not yet adopted contactless payments
  • Half of contactless payment users still have concerns about security.

With 'CL Watcher', consumers retain control over payments through providing clear authorization and through the ability to verify the amount paid.

"With this innovative solution, XIRING confirms its leading position in providing consumers with better security for using new payment and communication tools," says Georges Liberman, XIRING CEO.

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