Contactless cards safe to use, Bank Negara assures

bnm-paywaveKUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today assured that contactless cards cannot be cloned or used for unauthorised transactions by fraudsters.

In responding to media postings about the possibility of “electronic pick-pocketing” with the use of contactless cards, BNM said “this is not true”.

It said contactless cards, in use from Jan 1, were equipped with safety features:

  • An embedded chip that generates a dynamic code for every transaction;
  • For online card transactions, cardholders are required to enter a TAC (transaction authorisation code) that is sent to their mobile phones; and
  • Important information on the card cannot be e-pickpocketed.

“With these safety features, cards cannot be cloned or used for unauthorised transactions by fraudsters.”

However, BNM advised cardholders to safeguard their payment card and PIN at all times.

It said cardholders should notify their issuing bank immediately in the event their payment card was lost or stolen, or their PIN had been compromised or if they noticed any unauthorised transactions made using their cards.

Recently, concerns had been raised as to whether the contactless cards or PayWave-enabled cards were secure enough to be used.

Even the National Union of Bank Employees had raised the issue, saying there were devices that could read the information stored magnetically in the new cards.

It’s assistant secretary-general A Karuna had said the authorities and banks, especially Bank Negara Malaysia, had yet to guarantee the security of the PayWave system.

“Other people can steal information,” he had told FMT, pointing to a YouTube video detailing how information could be stolen from PayWave cards.