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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

Making Payments Using RFID

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

The following is an article “Making Payments Using RFID” by Marc Primo.

Payments through radio frequency identification technology or RFID are becoming more and more preferred these days. With security measures being established to avoid the risk of identity theft or your card’s information, RFID is slowly transforming the way people do business or buy their goods.

It would help to understand how the payment process works which is simple enough. An embedded chip sends out radio signals via a point of sale (POS) terminal antenna, which are then received by a tag and reverted with additional information. The information is then read, the data stored, and the corresponding action executed.

Today, payments via RFID is arguably the most convenient way to rid yourself of delays whether in toll fees or in the club.

In the early days, consumers saw the inconvenience of the method as each card with enabled RFID technology only possessed its own proprietary protocol in payment terminals. Today, more hybrid card readers are already developed to make the protocol universal particularly the use of the EMV chip, which is a joint venture of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. However, payments via RFID do not allow for big purchases as they do not require PIN entries for every transaction. On average, banks allow a maximum of $50 purchases only.

But let’s talk about the advantages of making payments via RFID. Payments are definitely much faster, more secure, and more convenient than opting to pay in plastic. It allows for great features and lets you review your purchase history, deactivate instantly in an event of suspicious activity, and you can also enable it via your mobile phones to make payments. But think twice about the last one as most smart phones today are enabled with near field communication features or NFC, which lets apps read your data. The data taken from your Contactless RFID can be used to make external purchases or worse, steal your identity so it’s wise to arm your smart phones with apps that protect it from ‘electronic pickpocketing’.

While it makes for a faster and more convenient transaction process, payments via RFID is still a developing technology. While people are becoming more digitally active, contactless payment is only used by 16% of consumers according to a survey done by Forrester Consulting. This does not mean that RFID payments are nothing more than just a trend. People like the idea of a secure contactless payment scheme if they can just know more and feel safe about them. Poland and the United Kingdom are already making strides to go cashless, and Australia is quickly following suit. Studies also show that contactless crimes are on the low with only 1% accounting for card fraud in the UK back in 2016.

If you are opting to make your payments via RFID, its best you use the PIN and lock codes features on your mobile, set up transaction notifications for proper tracking of your purchases, and install anti-malware. After all, security is definitely the first thing you should think about if you really want to enjoy the benefits of using RFID technology.


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