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Touch-and-pay cards are on their way to a till near you

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Bills of less than £10 will soon be able to be settled by a touch of consumers’ debit and credit cards, according to payment group Apacs.

The new arrangements are being developed by Visa and Mastercard and should be up and running by September.

Rather than swiping their cards and entering a security code, or signing a paper receipt, cardholders will only need to hold them against a special secure reader for low-value purchases up to the value of £10.

However, some experts have pointed to possible security flaws in the new system. “I have my doubts about this undertaking and feel it could be open to fraud and abuse,” said card technician Stephen White.

“Card payments seem vulnerable enough at the moment and although Visa and Mastercard have agreed on an industry standard for the technology to be used on the project, I still think it is risky.”

According to figures from the banks, there are more than 20 billion card payments of £10 or less a year in the UK. Apacs estimates that around five million contactless cards are expected to be issued by the end of 2008, accepted in more than 100,000 outlets.

“People should still compare credit cards to make sure they get a good deal,” said White.



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