What exactly is an RFID credit/debit card?
We have heard the buzz about RFID credit and debit cards,but what does that mean for us exactly? RFID is an acronym for: Radio Frequency IDentification,it’s a fancy way of saying it’s a card that will respond to a ready quickly. This usually means you don’t need to insert it or swipe it, you can just get it close to the reader and it will exchange the necessary information to facilitate a transaction.
RFID cards have been growing in popularity lately because of their ease of use and time saving ability. Think of the visa pay wave or tap abilities on cards.
Benefits of RFID cards
The main benefits and selling points of these cards is how quick the transaction is, while sliding a card isn’t very slow, most merchants and card issuers are moving to EMV chips which actually can take quite a bit of time. At my local supermarket my chip card takes about 20seconds to fully process which feels like and eternity! Where as RFID cards are a fraction of a second, and sometimes you can just bump your wallet up against it and it will read.
Problems of RFID cards
There are a few drawbacks to these types of cards, and speed doesn’t necessarily mean better even though many people enjoy that. The longer wait of the chip cards is because of more safety measures. RFID cards are ready by a radio scanner, which is how the transaction is made, however these cards are very susceptible to unwanted access. People can make a buffed up card reader and unbeknownst to you, can steal your vital information and gain unwanted access to your card very easily and stealthily.
However, these cards are quite easy to protect – which is great news. You can use these cards relatively safely if you buy a top RFID Blocker or an RFID wallet which is a bit more expensive. These protect your cards when they are inside the device but not when you go to pay so be careful.
Are RFID cards that Unsafe?
There are some safety features to using these cards which can help to protect you to a degree. Many of these cards are implementing encrypted data and/or one time activation codes so it’s not like the data is completely freely available. However, criminals can be smart, and a lot of times the credit card companies take shortcuts so these safety measures may not end of being fool proof, I sure wouldn’t bet my money in them alone.