Does Woolworths' payWave move hold security risks?

Credit card company Visa announced yesterday that supermarket giant Woolworths had signed up to its new contactless payWave payment system. Visa has touted the convenience of the new system, which allows customers to make purchases under $100 without a signature or PIN; however, some industry analysts have warned of potential security pitfalls with contactless payment systems.

“The challenge will be in keeping the loop secure,” James Turner from IBRS said. “There are multiple components and each needs to be well planned.

“As Europe has learned with chip and PIN, it doesn't take long before the criminals find the weak point and start to exploit it.”

Telecoms analyst, Mark Novosel from IDC Australia said that when credit cards can now be used without a PIN or signature it can pose a risk. “So for someone that's lost their card or had it stolen, this presents a danger that they will incur fraudulent transactions in the time between they realise their card is missing and calling their financial institution,” Novosel said.

Visa has begun trailing contactless mobile payment apps with ANZ. Gartner’s banking sector analyst, Christophe Uzurear, said consumer confidence in the security of 'swipe and go' products must remain high if widespread adoption and consumer confidence is to occur.

“We have to make the process as secure as possible, but a lot of work has to be put into perception and put investment into visibility”, he said.

“The most important thing is not necessarily the technical details, in most cases, the most important part is consumer confidence in using the system and that implies a full management system.”

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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