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Contactless Payment Technology is Risky

I discussed back in May about some reservations I had with JP Morgan Chase’s new “Blink” technology [3], where you would no longer have to sign anything after a purchase. Well, CNN/Money has made Blink, MasterCard’s “Tap and Go,” and Amex ExpressPay programs front page news again. They state that “contactless payment technology” makes transactions 40% faster but I contend that it makes security weaker and fraud incidence much higher.

“There will be more security holes,” said Avivah Litan, security analyst for Gartner, a research institute. “In the end, it increases the risks not decreases them.”

The article addresses several means of fraud – cashier stealing card information, rogue readers plucking data out of the air, etc. – but does little in the way of dispelling those fears.

Ultimately, we must understand who foots the bill when someone steals your card, blinks, and walks out with a flat screen TV? The credit card companies. The credit card companies make so much money they’re willing to take this risk to make transactions more convenient and faster, so you’ll spend more, faster… I think that’s interesting, don’t you?