When we think of banking security, we often think of using strong passwords, not recycling old passcodes, and adding multi-factor authentication to accounts. But having good physical security is just as important as practicing good online security hygiene. With many debit cards and credit cards shipping with NFC, there is a real risk that valuable financial information can be skimmed–even if the skimming is not done with malicious intent.
In April 2023, a San Francisco ABC News affiliate reported that a local Safeway grocery store had inadvertently charged a customer’s card while it was still in her purse. The credit card charge was facilitated by an overly sensitive tap-to-pay payment terminal at the checkout stand that had detected the NFC-enabled American Express card in the customer’s purse.
To better understand what had happened in the hope of preventing a repeat incident, the affected Safeway patron had reached out to the grocer. But instead of receiving a sympathetic apology, Safeway essentially blamed the customer, informing her that she should have her credit card cards protected.