Contactless technology revolutionising payments industry / Monday, September 22, 2008

Contactless payment methods could one day bring about an age where credit cards are no longer necessary, an expert has claimed.

According to Neil Munroe, external affairs director at credit reference agency Equifax, customers interested in contactless payments must ensure that they are fully aware of the security implications and what they are liable for if they fall victim to fraud.

He said that two-factor authentication is necessary to ensure that the technology remains secure, but added that the main selling point of contactless technology is its convenience compared to more traditional payment methods.

"They want to make sure that nobody's affected by stealing that transaction information or somebody's ID but at the same time they will want to be aware that too many stages will turn people off," he said of banks and credit card providers.

"It could go that way where you have everything on your mobile phone and it could be your credit card, your phone or your ATM."

According to payment trade association Apacs, there were 1.8 billion plastic card transactions in the second quarter of 2008, totalling £92.6 billion. Debit cards accounted for 73.4 per cent of all card purchases, with credit cards responsible for the rest.

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