Can Smartphones Steal Our Credit Card Information?

There was a time when credit cards had to be slid through a funky machine and stamped. This left your personal information fairly insecure or at least at the mercy of the retail establishment’s security procedures. Now credit cards are so fancy you can simply walk by and tap them to pay for your bill. Would it surprise you to know that your credit card could be even more at risk today despite the jump in technology? A CBC News investigation is saying that a simple Smartphone app is capable of swiping your information right through your wallet. In about one second, they were able to use a Samsung Galaxy SIII and an app that shall remain nameless to do the deed. Information like the card number, expiration date and name was quickly stolen with a simple walk by.

That is alarming news to those of us that use PayPass or payWave from MasterCard and Visa collectively. Both appear to be susceptible to the app and the smartphone despite what is said by those with Visa or MasterCard. Both companies say that their products are safe and that you are not responsible for unauthorized purchases anyway. For me, the proof is in the doing. They were able to take a card’s information with a simple walk by, and then use it to purchase a Coke. That shows me that it is possible despite claims to the contrary.

This is a natural progression that one should expect to see when new technologies are being formed. If you come up with a new way to do things where paying and money is concerned, someone, somewhere is going to try to exploit it. It is the unfortunate way of the world. Once they have been caught a few times, then the technology will catch up and begin putting the criminals away….until the criminals then change their methods all over again. This has been happening since the horse and carriage and it’s not likely to change.

If you are concerned about this, the best thing you can do is get one of those metal wallets that they offer in retail stores. These usually help to block the information somewhat. Short of that, the only real thing you can do is to keep the card at home. That is not the best of ideas, given the entire purpose of simplicity behind the technology.  Sooner or later, I am sure they will come up with a counter to the criminals. It is just a shame that we have to wait on that to feel safe.

At least MasterCard and Visa say we are not responsible for unauthorized purchases. Now I will sleep better….