How safe are contactless payments?

3 min Reading time

3 persistent myths debunked


Contactless payments are super convenient. For payments under 50 euros, you no longer need a PIN code. Just hold your card or smartphone against the payment terminal and you're done. That means significant time saved at the cash register! However, contactless payment is sometimes labeled as unsafe. Completely unjustified.


Rik Coeckelbergs, payment expert at The Banking Scene, debunks the three most common misconceptions for us.

Myth 1: Criminals can easily buy and use a payment terminal online to steal money from cards with contactless technology. They don't even need to make much effort: just hold the terminal against someone's back pocket.


"Such crimes have not been observed yet. The efforts a fraudster has to make for this do not match the limited return: a maximum of 50 euros per victim. And since these are electronic transactions, a fraudster can be quickly traced. Compare it to consciously speeding on a highway with speed cameras: you're also sure to receive a fine in the mail."

"Contactless payments are 100% secure."
Rik Coeckelbergs, The Banking Scene

Myth 2: Contactless technology makes it easier for fraudsters to copy your card.


"For each payment, the chip in your card generates a unique identification number. This data is then encrypted again via computer code, making counterfeiting extremely difficult. If a fraudster duplicates your card and tries to make a transaction with the same number, it will simply be rejected. Your payment card also never stores information about your name or address. Fraudsters can therefore never steal your identity through a card."


Myth 3: Smartwatches are very susceptible to fraud.


"Smartwatches are as secure as your card. Multiple security measures are built into watches and wristbands that enable contactless payment. You must enter your PIN code at least once a day anyway. And if you remove your watch, you can no longer make contactless payments with it."