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Contactless payment systems are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smart cards or other devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, that use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) for making secure payments.

Contactless payment in the UK has grown very rapidly in the last couple of years. Consumers spending on contactless cards in the UK more than tripled in 2014 as more and more consumers are adopting the technology to make payments. According to the UK Cards Association, the market for contactless payments in the UK touched £2.32billion in the year 2014, a 255%-increase on the previous year’s figure of £653 million.

Contactless cards have been in use for five years and are becomingly increasingly popular as they save time for retailers and customers by speeding up transactions.

In order to further boost contactless payments in the country, the maximum cap on contactless payments is expected to be increased to £30 from September 2015.  The average debit and credit card transaction in a supermarket is worth just over £25 currently. Many high street retailers now have contactless terminals in place, and Transport for London accepts contactless payments on buses and at stations. The growing list of retail outlets that accept contactless payments includes Aldi, Barnardo’s, Boots, Superdrug, Costa Coffee, Greggs, IKEA, JD Wetherspoon, Lidl, London Buses, London Tubes, M6 Toll, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Post Office, Stagecoach, Waitrose and WHSmith.

You don’t expect your cards to be defrauded but the rise of ‘wave and pay’ can mean just that

Millions of debit and credit card holders are at risk of having their personal data mined by thieves exploiting a loophole in the latest ‘contactless’ payment technology.

Card numbers and personal details can be read almost instantly by a remote device such as a mobile phone, according to cyber-crime experts.  In addition cards are inadvertently charged by by payment systems such as Oyster.