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Contactless cards risk warning

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By Rod Edgar
Annan and Eskdale
Contactless cards  risk warning

WAKE up to the risks posed by new 'contactless' bank cards.

That is the call from one Annan man, who is challenging banks and building societies over a technology he fears leaves customers exposed to a greater risk of fraud.
Raymond Walker, 67, said: “If you accidentally lose your card and don’t realise it, and if someone picks it up, they could go into a shop that works with these points and they can purchase items up to the value of anything between £20 and £30 at the moment.
“And if you don’t realise that you have lost your card, they could make a number of transactions before you found out.”
Contactless cards allow individual payments of up to £30 without a signature or PIN number — simply holding it near the payment device.
Mr Walker says he only learned of the feature on his new card when he came to make a payment in a shop, and that he has had two ‘long discussions’ with the Cumberland Building Society.
He says they assured customers would be refunded for any losses, but only if they knew it was not due to customer negligence.
And while the Cumberland refused to provide Mr Walker with a card without contactless technology, he says the Bank of Scotland appreciated his concerns and allowed his family to opt out — receiving new cards within three days.
He said: “They were no problem with changing it.”
Mr Walker says the only benefit from the card is saving about three seconds entering a PIN number.
And he said: “They keep telling you to change your PIN and password now and again, and yet they come out with a facility that can make it a damn sight easier to get some goods using your cash.”
Cumberland Building Society say all their cards have contactless technology and that they have had ‘no issues’ from customers in terms of fraud.
A Bank of Scotland spokesman said: “A contactless card has the same fraud protection as regular ‘chip and pin’ cards and, as with any other card, customers should inform us as soon as they realise their card is lost or stolen.
“For added protection, customers will occasionally be asked to enter their PIN when making a payment and their PIN will always be needed for payments over £30.
“However, if customers do not want a contactless card they are able to opt out.”

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