UK Security Spotlight: Are Cybercriminals Targeting Contactless Cards?

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According to Visa Europe, the contactless card revolution that began 10 years ago has firmly taken hold in Europe. UK consumers in particular have taken to contactless transactions — more commonly referred to as “tap and pay” or “pay and go” in the US — with the UK taking the market lead in these types of payments, ahead of Poland, France, Spain, and Finland. Across the UK, 66% of consumers have made a purchase with a contactless card since the technology was made available in 2007, with Londoners leading the charge; Visa indicated that 78% of London residents have used a contactless credit or debit card (12% higher than the national average) and that 16% of all bank-owned tap-and-pay terminals are located in London.

Investopedia and other outlets bill contactless transactions as “a secure method for consumers to purchase products or services”…but how secure is the payment method in actuality? Consumer watchdog Which? is one organization that has some doubts. They said their testing of 12 leading credit and debit cards “revealed significant security flaws” and that 69% of individuals they surveyed are “concerned about their contactless card being stolen and used to make purchases.”

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