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Thread: Contactless payment snafu

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Default Contactless payment snafu

    BBC News - Contactless 'charging errors' at M&S

    Contactless payment is coming to a wallet near you. You may have it already, but I haven't seen it in use in Ireland yet. In the UK M&S' contactless paypoints are accused of charging the wrong cards, cards in your bag, etc.

    Its supposed to only work if you put the card near the till, but it seems it can accidentally find the card, and charge it (without entering a pin) at much greater distances.

    If this is possible accidentally, it is surely possible for criminals to mug you contactlessly. No pin, no receipt, no record.

    It reminds me of those RFID chips in passports which can allow tech-savvy criminals to steal identities of people as they walk past. Of course, if your identity is stolen, you may never know. It never appears in your bank balance - no statement will highlight it.

    There is protection available. Several companies sell RF shielded wallets and handbags which prevent remote access to your cashcards.

    Surely contactless payment is just a fundamentally bad idea.

  2. #2
    MrFunkyZombaloo
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    Cash is king.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seabhcan View Post
    Surely contactless payment is just a fundamentally bad idea.
    It's a great idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunkyZombaloo View Post
    Cash is king.
    Not any more.

    My ex-firm used to be involved in a system called Mondex which never took off in the UK but it did in other places and some countries such as Singapore have been paying using this method for about 20 years.

    If you just want to buy a newspaper and some milk, surely its easier to wave a card or smartphone in front of a reader rather than digging around for some pennies. I think so. For buying stuff under £20, this is the way to go, above that a PIN will always be required.

    As for M&S, I'd imagine the people operating the cash tills pressed the wrong button and the till went searching for a contactless payment even though that is not what the customers wanted.

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    I've used contact less payment in McDonalds and Boots in Dublin.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basildon Bob View Post
    It's a great idea.

    Not any more.

    My ex-firm used to be involved in a system called Mondex which never took off in the UK but it did in other places and some countries such as Singapore have been paying using this method for about 20 years.

    If you just want to buy a newspaper and some milk, surely its easier to wave a card or smartphone in front of a reader rather than digging around for some pennies. I think so. For buying stuff under £20, this is the way to go, above that a PIN will always be required.

    As for M&S, I'd imagine the people operating the cash tills pressed the wrong button and the till went searching for a contactless payment even though that is not what the customers wanted.
    I would have hoped the system was more securely designed so that operator error couldn't result in theft.

    Are you saying all a thief needs is one of M&S's tills, and can sit in a cafe for a few hours and steal the money of every passerby?

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    The tills are "live". When a transaction needs to be done, the till makes a secure connection to the bank. Unless a thief works for a bank and knows the encryption used and the specfic signal to intercept, there is no way they can steal at will.

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    Politics.ie Member commonman's Avatar
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    Wait till our government finds out that there is another way of taken money from the people.

  8. #8
    MrFunkyZombaloo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basildon Bob View Post
    Not any more.

    My ex-firm used to be involved in a system called Mondex which never took off in the UK but it did in other places and some countries such as Singapore have been paying using this method for about 20 years.

    If you just want to buy a newspaper and some milk, surely its easier to wave a card or smartphone in front of a reader rather than digging around for some pennies. I think so. For buying stuff under £20, this is the way to go, above that a PIN will always be required.

    As for M&S, I'd imagine the people operating the cash tills pressed the wrong button and the till went searching for a contactless payment even though that is not what the customers wanted.
    Why is it easier than rooting for some pennies?... You have to fill out forms and pay expenses/fees to get/keep a card. You must have established a good credit history if it's a credit card. Then there's identity theft and other privacy concerns. If not you'll have to buy a smartphone.

    Or there's just pay with cash.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basildon Bob View Post
    The tills are "live". When a transaction needs to be done, the till makes a secure connection to the bank. Unless a thief works for a bank and knows the encryption used and the specfic signal to intercept, there is no way they can steal at will.
    Hardly impossible. Can they clone the cards remotely?

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    Politics.ie Member Nemesiscorporation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabhcan View Post
    BBC News - Contactless 'charging errors' at M&S

    Contactless payment is coming to a wallet near you. You may have it already, but I haven't seen it in use in Ireland yet. In the UK M&S' contactless paypoints are accused of charging the wrong cards, cards in your bag, etc.

    Its supposed to only work if you put the card near the till, but it seems it can accidentally find the card, and charge it (without entering a pin) at much greater distances.

    If this is possible accidentally, it is surely possible for criminals to mug you contactlessly. No pin, no receipt, no record.

    It reminds me of those RFID chips in passports which can allow tech-savvy criminals to steal identities of people as they walk past. Of course, if your identity is stolen, you may never know. It never appears in your bank balance - no statement will highlight it.

    There is protection available. Several companies sell RF shielded wallets and handbags which prevent remote access to your cashcards.

    Surely contactless payment is just a fundamentally bad idea.
    One of the supermarkets tried it in Sweden. They had to stop after a couple of hours. Identity theft had already occurred.

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