Following the announcement that the contactless payment limit in the UK will rise to £100, London-based accessories brand KNOMO London is urging shoppers to take appropriate action to protect themselves from fraud.
The provider of exquisite backpacks, briefcases, laptop bags, and totes is speaking out about the potential for a substantial rise in contactless fraud, and the importance of using RFID blocking technology to minimise the risk – something which it incorporates into a number of its designs.
The contactless chip of credit cards and passports works through Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, which wirelessly transfers information from the card to the reader. However, scanners are able to skim RFID tags without having contact with the card, leaving shoppers vulnerable to information theft. In response, KNOMO London is advising shoppers to be vigilant, and consider using RFID blocking devices.
KNOMO London’s stylish range of RFID protected bags feature an integrated pocket lined with RFID protection technology, preventing passive skimming. As one of the most intelligent and innovative security features, this technology not only reduces the risk of financial data theft but also personal data theft through other RFID-tagged documents such as British passports.
“As we edge closer to stage two of restriction easing, many businesses - including KNOMO - are busy preparing to reopen with strict COVID-secure measures in place, but it’s vital that customers are prepared for the changes that are taking place, too,” says Oli Strickland, Country Manager for KNOMO London. “With the contactless payment limit rising, we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to help our customers protect themselves from theft once they are back on the high street. Customers can look out for the RFID stamp on a number of our products, which indicates the item contains our blocking technology. ”
The contactless limit is rising in preparation for those stores that have been deemed ‘non-essential’ reopening from 12th April under the second stage of the Government’s roadmap to recovery. The move is expected to both support businesses as they strive to provide a contactless shopping experience for their customers and to make in-store shopping more convenient to provide a much-needed boost for the struggling economy.
However, concerns are being raised that the rise could speak a new wave of contactless fraud. While contactless fraud did fall in 2020, this dip has been attributed to the significant drop in face-to-face interactions due to store closures. There are concerns that, as stores begin to reopen from April, contactless fraud could reach new heights, along with worries that customers may be lured into a false sense of security by last year’s lower-than-usual figures. UK Finance is also warning that many contactless scams from 2020 may not yet have been realised, and will only come to light as stores reopen.
The increase in the contactless payment limit comes less than one year after the previous rise from £35 to £45 on 1 April 2020. To put the increase into perspective, the European Union is maintaining an upper limit of €50 - around £45 - on contactless payments in a bid to minimise the impact of RFID fraud.