Warning contactless payment increase could fuel rise in crime

Raising the contactless payment spending limit could spur thefts and frauds on the rise, consumer and bank counts have warned.

The amount that can be spent on tap and go contactless cards doubles from £ 45 to £ 100.

Eight out of ten adults in the UK used contactless payments in 2019, and raising the limits will mean making millions of payments easier now, the government said.

While the decision may be welcome news for buyers, some have warned that the increase in available funds that can be spent without entering a pin could be picked up by criminals.

Gareth Shaw, director of money at consumer research and advisory group Which? Said, “The risk of becoming a victim of contactless card fraud is currently low. However, there is a chance thefts will increase as criminals take advantage of the increased spending cap to maximize the amount they can steal. “

Ricky Lee, executive director and co-founder of Banking App Sync., Said contactless payments are a “good thing” but warned, “it is prone to fraud.”

He added, “There is always a chance thefts will increase as criminals are tempted by the increased limits on contactless connections.

“A criminal could spend hundreds of pounds in just a few minutes, so a payment card can be a big target.”

Andy Renshaw of Feedzai, a data science company working on the risk of fraud for financial institutions, said, “In order to encourage high street shopping, banks need to work faster to identify and identify potential suspects block transactions.

“Of particular interest will be how much a fraudster can spend in total between each chip and pin check (estimated at £ 300). While we assume that all necessary precautions will be taken, there is certainly an additional element of risk that needs to be considered as banks and customers adapt. “

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said it was “absolutely important” that the government “provide more security, as raising the contactless limit to £ 100 effectively means people are carrying even more valuable possessions”.

Contactless cards initially had a limit of £ 10 in 2007, which increased to £ 15 in 2010, to £ 20 in 2012 and to £ 30 in 2015. The limit was raised to £ 45 in the first few months of the pandemic in April.

Although it’s been in law since Wednesday when it was announced in the budget, the increase won’t come immediately as companies need to make system changes.

UK Finance, the banking and financial services trade association, said contactless fraud rates are “staying low” and losses are falling by 20% to £ 8.2m in the first half of the year – the equivalent of 2p for every £ 100 incurred with such technology, after 2.7p reported in 2019.

How to protect yourself against credit card crime

The number of transactions that can be made before a PIN is requested remains limited and banks are expected to refund money lost from such crimes.

Mr Shaw urged people to report lost or stolen cards to banks as soon as possible, regularly check bank statements for suspicious transactions, and not to keep cards in easily accessible pockets or pockets.

Mr Lee suggested that people could help protect themselves by using digital banking with security controls to allow cards to be frozen instantly, spending limits set, or payment using QR codes instead of cards to make payments more secure and to minimize the profit for criminals.

Action Fraud advises customers to always check the amount before paying and never to hand over a card during purchase, especially for contactless payments.

It was said that people should also shield the keyboard when entering a pin, immediately sign the back of new cards, and ensure that old cards are cut through the magnetic stripe and chip upon expiration or cancellation.

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