Credit and Debit Cards

I rise today to raise some concerns around the contactless technology of some credit cards, also known as payWave and PayPass. PayWave and PayPass enable transactions to be made by holding a debit or credit card against a terminal, without the buyer needing to enter a PIN or sign for any transaction less than $100.

I am sure many of us here are aware of payWave and probably use it, as I do, and probably enjoy the freedom that it provides, particularly when you are juggling a whole lot of bags. However, there are some in the community that have security concerns about this technology, and a number of Canberrans have contacted me in recent weeks after their cards were either stolen or lost and then used fraudulently.

In one case, a woman accidentally left her card in an ATM and then someone stole $500 using the payWave technology. What was so tragic about this was the fact that she had spent months saving up for a trip, a holiday. The $500 was her spending money for the holiday and it was gone in an afternoon.

As someone with a particular interest in cybersecurity, I am concerned that consumers do not have enough choice when it comes to opting in to this tap-and-go technology. It seems to have been introduced into the banking sector without thorough policy discussion or regulatory assessment. On behalf of those in my community who have contacted me about this, I believe that it is not only something the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council needs to look at but also something the broader community needs to look at and talk about.

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