Extra precautions to keep your money safe
ACCORDING to the UK Cards Association – which organises the way bank cards work in the UK – one in four card payments are now contactless, totalling more than £3.3 billon a month – and the trend is growing. I have to confess to being a recent convert – it’s especially quick if you’re trying to buy a tram ticket!
To use contactless you need to have been issued with an updated contactless card – which by now most people will have been. You will see the special sign which looks like the sign for wi-fi. It can be used where shops have the appropriate reading equipment by just holding your card against the reader. You may need to activate your card first and make an initial PIN payment before the contactless feature will work.
To use the card to make payment just tap the card against the payment machine. Make sure the amount is correct. There should be a beep or a green light to show that your payment is being processed and then the terminal will say ‘Approved’. It is better to take the card out of your wallet, as there is a risk that a different card could be registered and use a different account. If this happens the reader should ask you which card you want to use.
There is no daily cap on the number of individual transactions you can make (each up to £30) but occasionally, as an extra security measure, you will be asked to enter your PIN to make sure it’s your card.
The government’s Money Advice Service website does warn ‘the technology is not without risks and there are a few things you can do to keep your money safe’ (it recommends that you look at www. getsafeonline.org/ shopping-banking/ contactless-payments/ for more security advice).
If money is taken from your account without your permission, the Payment Services Regulations will mean that your bank refunds you, but for transactions made before you report a card lost or stolen, you will be liable for the first £50 – although if this happens ask the bank to waive this. Make sure that you note down somewhere safe, or store in your phone, your bank’s phone number for lost or stolen cards, it should be on the back of your card.
You don’t have to use contactless to pay – the choice is yours. You may still be issued with a card with a contactless facility. If you would prefer not to have this, speak to your bank and see if they will issue you with a card without it, but this does depend on your bank.
It is always a good idea to check your bank statement regularly.
You can get more advice from us by phoning 0300 330 1153 Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.