Expert QA

Kevin Milne – Payment cards

You might be covered in the case of credit theft, but what about the bank?

How do banks protect themselves against fraudulent use of cards that don’t require pin numbers or signatures, such as Paywave Visa? I know the cardholder isn’t liable, because of Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, but what about the banks? What’s to stop someone finding, or stealing, a “contactless” payment card and using it all over town?

Unless the banks are being secretive, there appear to be no special security measures relating specifically to “contactless” payment cards, such as Paywave. I suppose you could call the $80 upper spending limit a security measure. BNZ tells me there has not been an increase in the improper use of cards since the introduction of the contactless payment system. As the bank points out, online purchasing with credit cards has been around for a long time and that, in a sense, is “contactless”. However, they do say all cases of people using these cards without authority will be handed over to the police. And I imagine there are also security cameras in place at most of the outlets using credit cards, which should be a disincentive. The most important point to stress is that you, as the cardholder, will not be held liable if someone steals or finds your “contactless” card and uses it. But if you do lose it, make sure you report the loss straight away.

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