Contactless payments have not led to any increase in fraud

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Tiina Soosalu
Eesti Pank Payment and Settlement Systems Department

An average of 994,000 card payments were made with bank cards issued in Estonia in the second quarter, one quarter of them contactless payments. The spread of contactless payments has not led to any increase in card fraud according to the banks.

As at 30 June, 61% of all the cards issued by Estonian banks were contactless, and a total of 1.1 million contactless cards have been issued. However, 18% of cardholders have not activated the contactless option on their cards. An average of 240,000 contactless payments a day were made in the second quarter, 23,000 of them abroad.

Contactless payments are now accepted by 81% of card terminals in Estonia, and the banks have promised that all terminals should offer the option by the end of 2020. The banks will gradually update their payment terminals from the start of 2020 so that contactless payments can be made for any amount, but above a certain limit a PIN will also have to be entered. Smart devices like telephones and watches can already be used for contactless payments of more than 25 euros.

The upper limit on contactless payments varies between countries. The upper limit for contactless payments in Estonia is 25 euros, like in most other European countries. The limit in Finland is 50 euros, and in the United Kingdom it is 30 pounds. Larger purchases need the card to be entered in the terminal and a PIN to be entered. The PIN is sometimes requested for smaller payments too, to verify that the purchaser is really the cardholder. As contactless technology makes it easier and quicker to make payments, both cardholders and merchants benefit from contactless payments.

A cardholder who loses a contactless card should act as they would for any other lost card and contact their bank as quickly as possible to close the card. Holders of both contactless and non-contactless cards should also check their account statements from time to time to ensure that they actually made all the payments on the account themselves. A convenient way to do this is to activate account information in the mobile bank, as this allows to clients to have an immediate picture of all the activity on their account.

 

For further information:
Eva Vahur
Eesti Pank
Tel: 668 0965, 533 00619
Email: eva.vahur [at] eestipank.ee