The Dangers of Card Tapping as a Payment Method
In the fast-paced world we live in, speed and convenience have become buzzwords in virtually every aspect of life. An area where this is most evident is in the payment sphere, with “tap and go” becoming more popular. While tapping as a payment method offers unrivaled convenience, it is not without potential dangers.
Ever since the introduction of tap-to-pay options, shoppers have been relishing in the speediness of transactions that allow them to be in and out of shops in record time, reducing queuing times considerably. However, the ease and speed of tap-to-pay has certain potential downsides, which if you’re not aware of, might lead you to financial turmoil.
Potential Risks Associated with Tap-to-Pay
1. Risk of Theft or Loss
Since tapping as a payment method does not require a PIN for transactions below a certain amount, if your card is stolen, the thief can make multiple purchases, which could cause considerable loss before you even notice your card missing.
Card skimming, where fraudsters use a device to capture card details, is a risk. Skimming devices can be placed in close proximity to payment terminals and used to gather data from contactless transactions. This can be very difficult to notice, and it opens the door to situations in which you could easily be scammed out of your money without even realising it.
3. Over Spending
With the simplicity of tapping as a payment method, it’s easy to lose track of spending. Research indicates there tends to be an increase in the spending patterns of users once they start using contactless payments. The increased convenience can make it easier to reach for your card and make a small payment, but soon enough these small amounts add up and could cost you a lot more than you think.
Possible Protection Measures
1. Regularly Check Your Statements
Stay vigilant by keeping a close eye on your bank statement. If you spot any unfamiliar transactions, contact your bank immediately.
2. Limit Your “Tap and Go” Use
For security reasons, consider limiting your use of tap-and-go payments to low-cost purchases and keep the sensitive purchase secure using traditional methods that require your signature or your PIN code. This will not only stop you from overspending, but it will also keep you safe from possible card skimming.
3. Use Mobile Payment apps
Mobile payment apps that require authentication are a safe alternative to card tapping. Plus, they have the added advantage of tracking your expenses, helping you to manage your budget effectively.
While tapping as a payment method was designed with convenience in mind, it’s important to remember that you are potentially increasing your financial risk in the event of theft or fraud. This does not mean you should avoid using it, but you should be cautious and take necessary protective measures to prevent falling prey to card tapping’s potential disadvantages.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is tapping your card safe?
Yes, the technology used for tap-to-pay is secure. However, there are risks, such as if your card is stolen, it can be used for small purchases without a PIN. With this in mind, it is very important to be mindful of where your card is, and where you use the tap-and-go feature.
2. How can I protect myself from fraud?
Check your statements regularly, set up transaction alerts with your bank, and if your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately.
3. Can I disable tap-to-pay?
Yes, some banks offer the option to disable the tap-to-pay feature or reduce the limit for PIN-less transactions. Contact your bank to discuss your options.