A word of advice on contactless cards and mobile banking
02 July 2012
It’s a brave new world. Who would have thought 10 years ago that you could even take a picture on your phone, never mind use it to pay for your cheese scone and latté?
But as Bob said, “Times, they are a-changin’”: More and more people are buying smartphones and downloading mobile banking apps, and contactless cards will gradually become the norm.
As with anything new, there’s a fear of the unknown. Those backing contactless technology say that it’s much safer than using cash or existing cards – the card never leaves your hand and you’re protected against unauthorised transactions.
But it’s a sad fact that there are some clever fraudsters out there, and any method of banking has its risks. Minimise yours with these tips from the Banking Ombudsman:
- Keep your cards and phone safe – it may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many of us don’t.
- Monitor your accounts often and tell your bank straight away if you lose your phone or card so that it can cancel access to your accounts.
- Auto-lock your phone and secure both your phone and account with strong passwords.
- Only use an app that is provided by your bank and that is downloaded from one of the places they direct you to (usually Apple App Store and Google Play).
- Keep your phone and app updated. Updates may be security-related.
- Delete any text messages from your banking service provider once you've read them.
- Log off completely from mobile banking when you've finished.
- Avoid public wi-fi hotspots that are unsecured and that don't require a password.
Finally, don’t forget to read your bank’s terms and conditions. Most banks will reimburse you for fraudulent transactions, but they are likely to have certain provisos. Make sure you clearly understand what they are.
Read more about contactless cards and mobile banking