Streaming issues? Report here
John Maytham 2019 1500 BW
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
15:00 - 18:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield
See full line-up
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
15:00 - 18:00

Are 'tap and go' cards safe? Maybe, suggests this case involving Standard Bank

18 October 2019 10:23 AM
Handsfree pickpocketing is a myth, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler. But risks remain, suggests a case she took on.

Do “Tap n Go” bank cards make you more susceptible to fraud?

Do you need to get a “radio frequency ID” (RFID) blocking wallet or handbag to stop criminals from stealing your bank card details by using “radio waves” while standing next to you?

There are many scary videos on YouTube showing a man stealing someone’s credit card details by getting close to them in a shopping centre.

These videos are staged, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

You needn’t fear – handsfree pickpocketing is a myth and RFID wallet makers have yet to produce evidence of a single RFID crime.

Holding a point-of-sale device near a bank card only produces a card number and expiry date.

The CVV and PIN stay hidden.

South African banks have used RFID credit and debit cards for some time. You can identify them by the Wi-Fi-type symbol on them.

Consumers in South Africa cannot insist on using PIN-enabled cards only.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) says that contactless payment cards are as secure as traditional cards and that it hasn’t received any reported crime incidents where “tap and go” cards have been exploited.

You can only “tap” a pre-determined number of low-value transactions on any specific day, after which you need to enter a PIN to complete the transaction.

The limit imposed by the Payments Association of South Africa is R500 per “tap”, meaning the financial reward associated with “tap” transactions is low.

pixabay.com, 2019

A case study:

A thief stole Veronica McGregor’s (she’s from Durban) handbag with her card from her boot and tapped away to the tune of R5800.

The criminal bought alcohol at a series of bottle stores - all part of the same supermarket chain.

At a limit of R500 per tap, that’s about 12 purchases and a lot of driving around to different bottle stores.

I was not even aware that my card had that tap functionality.

Veronica McGregor

Standard Bank investigated and offered her a refund of 50% of her R5800 loss.

The bank gave her five days before they would withdraw the offer.

Unsurprisingly, she didn’t think that was fair.

Knowler took up the case with Standard Bank, arguing that the fraud would not have taken place had a PIN been requested.

It is fair to say, according to Knowler, that the functionality – which she didn’t request, consent to or ever use herself - was the direct cause of her losses.

How then did Standard Bank justify an offer of 50% as opposed to the full amount of her losses, Knowler asked.

Standard Bank’s response:

We have assessed this matter carefully and found that the decision that was made to offer Ms McGregor 50% only was not made taking into account all the facts. We should have offered a 100% refund as the transactions were performed offline without the use of a PIN using Tap and Go. We apologise for the inconvenience and obvious distress that this matter has caused. Ms McGregor will be refunded in full.

Standard Bank

All our credit cards are issued with the contactless capability and this has been very well received by customers and merchants due to the increased convenience and security associated with cards not leaving customer’s hands anymore. Adoption rates have ramped up significantly during 2019 with merchants driving adoption by not taking customer’s cards anymore to complete transactions. In more mature markets like Australia, more than 90% of transactions have migrated to contactless and they have experienced a very significant reduction in counterfeit card fraud. Our cards have a variety of security parameters embedded on the chip like cryptograms which protects customers against fraudsters.

Standard Bank

For more detail, listen to the Knowler in the audio below.

Get the 10 most-read articles of the week from Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show, emailed to you every Friday morning:

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


18 October 2019 10:23 AM

More from ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

multi-prong-plug-wendy-knowlerjfif

Can't use all the sockets of your multi-plug at once? Here's an explanation why

16 January 2020 11:24 AM

Why can't the socket-outlets on multi-plugs be used all at once? Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler looks for answers.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

shoprite

Shoprite shrugs off reckless lending charges

15 January 2020 8:19 PM

Shoprite has been found guilty of reckless lending and fined. How serious do companies take such verdicts and fines though?

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

ecommerce banking

Check your debit orders!

8 January 2020 8:10 PM

Interrogate your debit orders. They often encompass more payments than you think.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

zando-logo-facebookjpg

We want our orders! - Irate Zando customers complain about delayed deliveries

18 December 2019 4:55 PM

Online clothing merchant Zando has now apologised for its delayed communication with customers regarding their late orders.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

luggage-holiday-travel-suitcase-airport-free-image-pixabay-933487-960-720webp

Jetting off soon? 10 safety tips to protect your luggage from airport thieves

5 December 2019 10:48 AM

Baggage theft is on the rise, especially at OR Tambo International Airport. Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler offers key advice.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

181123BlackFriday171

Only Germans take Black Friday more seriously than South Africans

28 November 2019 3:52 PM

In South Africa, Black Friday has become a spend-fest of epic proportions, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

mincer-minced-meat-ground-beef-bowl-783564-960-720jpg

Beef mince or ground beef? A lesson on food labelling

27 November 2019 3:57 PM

The one meat product is pure beef and the other has ingredients such as water, soya and other flavourants added into the mix.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

180831-old-mutual-edjpg

We paid before the family arrived with the body – Old Mutual

21 November 2019 9:25 AM

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler investigates after a poor family’s desperation to get a claim paid made headlines.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Cellphone security fraud phishing scams hacking 123rfcrime 123rf

12 security tips to keep cellphone info and bank account safe from crooks

20 November 2019 3:48 PM

There have been a number of new cases where victims had their cellphones stolen and discovered their bank accounts were emptied.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Phone

Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

14 November 2019 10:55 AM

Did someone steal your phone? Contact your bank without hesitation warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward