A Halifax man is warning that some banks are automatically replacing lost or stolen credit cards with new cards containing contactless payment technology.
Ken Malay says that’s what happened to him when he asked CIBC for a new credit card. The tap-and-go technology allows purchases to be made at a store by waving the card over a reader. No PIN or signature is required.
"I was given this technology without my consent, without wanting the technology, and all of a sudden I'm starting to realize after doing a little bit of reading what a nightmare this can be for a lot of people," he said.
The technology goes by various names, including payWave and PayPass. Purchase limits can be as high as $100.
It’s supposed to make paying for things faster, but Malay said he worries what will happen if a thief gets his credit card and he doesn’t realize it’s missing.
"You go downtown, you're shopping around on a Saturday, you drop your card somewhere," he said. "Anybody can pick this card up. It’s like the Wild West."
He’s not the only one raising concerns. Last fall, police in Melbourne, Australia, called for an end to such payment technology, saying it could promote crime.
Police in Halifax say they’ve had one case of fraud involving tap-and-go. In that case the victim didn’t even know the card contained the technology.
Malay has asked for a new card — one without the technology. And he’s encouraging others to learn whether their cards can make contactless payments.