PayWave gets a thumbs up after investigation

A PROBE into a South Grafton man's problems with a payWave credit card transaction has confirmed the security credentials of the system, says Visa.

Last month Don Booth was a customer at a chemist store in Grafton which used the Visa payWave credit card system.

The system allows customers to make purchases under $100 by waving their payWave-enabled cards close to a terminal which completes the transaction.

Mr Booth said his card was debited the amount of a purchase before he was able to take it from his wallet.

Visa's senior manager of risk services for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Ian McKindley said investigators had interviewed Mr Booth at length and believed they had uncovered the full story.

"We discovered there was no customer in front of Mr Booth at the chemist checkout," Mr McKindley said.

"The transaction was for a $20 purchase which was completed while the card was still in his wallet.

"During our talks with him, he agreed his wallet was quite near the terminal as he went to get out his card."

Mr McKindley said it appeared Mr Booth's card was debited the correct amount and there was no reversal of the transaction.

He said Visa followed up every account of a payWave transaction problem it became aware of.

"We follow them up and you could say we love them," he said. "Every case we have investigated about payWave has resulted in us finding the technology has worked as it should."

Mr McKindley said the ability of the card to be read through the leather of a wallet was proving a winner with customers.

"In Melbourne where people can pay on trams and buses with payWave, they don't take their cards out of their wallets, they just wave them near the machines to pay their fare," he said.

He said Visa could not do much about stolen cards increasing the number of cases of fraud.

"A stolen card is a stolen card. It's just the same as someone stealing cash from you and using it," he said.

"In the case of card theft our customers are secured by our no liability guarantee.

"If your card is lost or stolen, you're not liable for any debts incurred."

He said each transaction on the card was unique, so it was impossible to use any intercepted information between the card and the terminal to make illegal transactions.

"Each transaction generates a unique code number, which cannot be used again," he said.

He said people who did not want payWave, needed to contact the institutions supplying the card.

"Once the chip is on the card, you can't disable it without destroying the card," he said.

"People have drilled holes in the payWave chip, but they've just needed to get a new card," he said.

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