Firm cre­ates new ‘shield’ to pro­tect cards

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

A FIRM has de­vel­oped in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy to help keep per­sonal data safe.

Plas­tic card man­u­fac­turer Plas­tic Card Ser­vices (PCS) has cre­ated a new sys­tem to pre­vent per­sonal and pay­ment data be­ing swiped from con­tact­less cards.

Work­ing with tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions provider Voy­agerBlue, PCS , based on Tyther­ing­ton Busi­ness Park, de­vel­oped the ‘shield’ de­vice, which sits in wallets or purses and pro­vides a pro­tec­tive bar­rier against ac­ci­den­tal or unau­tho­rised pay­ments.

Both con­tact­less pay­ment cards and ePass­ports use ‘con­tact­less’ tech­nol­ogy, where a chip en­ables con­sumers to wave their card over a reader to pay for goods, and trav­ellers can have their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion data stored and read elec­tron­i­cally to cross through border checks. With more than 36 mil­lion con­tact­less cards in cir­cu­la­tion in the UK and more than 80 coun­tries is­su­ing ePass­ports, the tech­nol­ogy is in­creas­ingly com­mon.

How­ever, while these de­vices can sim­plify re­tail trans­ac­tions and se­cu­rity checks, ac­ci­den­tal pay­ments can oc­cur and per­sonal data can also be stolen by fraud­sters.

Rob Ni­cholls, man­ag­ing direc­tor at PCS, said: “As con­tact­less cards be­come more com­mon, so does the po­ten­tial for er­ro­neous pay­ments and fraud.

“The shield tech­nol­ogy pro­vides an in­no­va­tive and easy-to-use method of pre­vent­ing both ac­ci­den­tal trans­ac­tions and data theft for con­sumers, and is an ideal of­fer­ing in sec­tors such as re­tail and travel, where data and pay­ment pro­tec­tion is an is­sue.

“As the only patented tech­nol­ogy of its type that can be in­cor­po­rated into card de­signs, we are con­fi­dent that it will rev­o­lu­tionise the se­cu­rity of con­tact­less pay­ments.”

Af­ter hear­ing about Trans­port for Lon­don’s is­sue with Oys­ter cards – Oys­ter read­ers swiped some users’ con­tact­less pay­ment cards in­stead of tap­ping out their Oys­ter card, con­se­quently over­charg­ing cus­tomers – Voy­agerBlue ap­proached PCS to re­search and man­u­fac­ture the new tech­nol­ogy.

And the new sys­tem has al­ready se­cured a dis­tri­bu­tion deal with UK re­tailer Go Travel, and an in­ter­na­tional con­tract with Dan­ish car in­surer GF in­surer.

The shield tech­nol­ogy will now be in­cor­po­rated into 200,000 of the firms’ cus­tomer mem­ber­ship cards.

●● Plas­tic Card Ser­vices se­nior man­age­ment team from left to right: Tim Holt, Adam Unsworth, Rob Ni­cholls, Andy Simp­son

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