Busting myths

Use contactless cards with confidence with Westpac CardGuard; protecting you 24/7 from fraudulent activity*. Here we bust some common myths about contactless payments.

Myth 1 – I don’t input a PIN or sign when I make a contactless transaction, so I could be charged twice.

Highly unlikely. For one payment to take place the retailer has to initiate the payment process then, your card has to be held very close to the terminal, and only briefly. As soon a payment is made the terminal states that it’s been accepted or declined and a receipt is created, just like a payment that requires a PIN or a signature.  For you to be charged twice the merchant would have to repeat this process.

Myth 2 – Someone can read my card while it’s still in my pocket, purse or wallet.

To do this, a fraudster would need access to a mobile EFTPOS terminal, to get within 4 centimetres of your card AND to be officially registered with a bank as a merchant to actually be able to process any fraudulent transactions. Since we have the ability to track the account destination of all contactless payments made via registered merchants, we would therefore be able to identify the fraudster. And remember, if you are the victim of fraud and have complied with the card’s Condition of Use, you will always be covered by our zero liability protection.

Myth 3 – Contactless payments aren’t secure.

Not true. Contactless cards are not only an easy and convenient way to pay, but they’re also safe when it comes to protecting you from fraud. To understand why contactless payments are secure, it helps to know a bit about how they work. First and foremost, your card never leaves your hand, giving you full control during payment. The signals sent between your card and the terminal where you tap your card only travel very short distances (less than four centimetres), making it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept. But your peace of mind doesn’t end there. All contactless cards come with an embedded microchip for added security. The chip sits within the plastic of the card, and stores your card account information in a coded format, making it more difficult for someone to fraudulently copy your card details. At Westpac, we also use advanced security software that can pick up on suspect payment patterns (like multiple payments in a short space of time). If we spot anything that raises an eyebrow, we can block the card until we’ve contacted you.

Myth 4 – Contactless signals are broadcasting my private information.

Personal information (such as your name) is never included in the data transmitted to the shop or merchant. This means that even if a signal could be intercepted, there’s no way for criminals to clone your identity and make fraudulent transactions on your behalf. Plus, all Mastercard and Visa cards at Westpac come with encrypted EMV chips to provide extra security.

Myth 5 – I’ll be liable for any misuse of my card because it’s contactless.

Losing a credit or debit card that has contactless technology is no different to before we had contactless technology. You won’t be held liable for any misuse of your card, provided you notify us as soon as possible, haven’t acted fraudulently or negligently and you follow the card’s Conditions of Use and these common sense rules. For full details, see the “Liabilities” section of the Conditions of Use for your card.