What do you think of the cashless economy

Coronavirus : Customers and consumers must pay attention to this when making cashless payments

Berlin - Bank notes that have passed through countless hands carry the risk of transmitting the Corona-Virsu. In almost all supermarkets such as Rewe, Kaufland, Edeka or Aldi, customers are therefore asked to use one of the many cashless payment options. The majority of the population has a giro card (colloquially still an EC card). But payment systems such as Apple Pay, NFC payment or supermarket apps are also on the advance.

Payment via Near Field Communication technology, or NFC for short, is already relatively widespread. With this method there is a chip on the debit or credit card. Thanks to this chip, the card only has to be held up to the payment terminal at the supermarket checkout. For smaller amounts (usually between 25 and 50 euros), payment is made immediately; for larger amounts, the personal PIN usually has to be entered. You can tell whether NFC is accepted at the POS terminals by a wave symbol that is reminiscent of a WLAN symbol.

The mobile phone as a bank card

Apple Pay works in a similar way: the technology company's newer devices have an NFC chip integrated into the iPhone. After logging in to Apple Pay, the iPhone can be used like a bank card, provided the terminal at the checkout of the respective shop supports cashless payments. The Apple Watch, which is less common in this country, also supports this payment method.

Internet giant Google also offers a comparable payment service for mobile phones with Google Pay. There are also other providers such as Payback Pay who also offer mobile payment, i.e. paying via mobile phone.

However, many people are uncomfortable with these payment methods. You are skeptical of digital security systems. Data protection concerns also play a role here for many people.

"Proven and high security mechanisms"

The "Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft" represents the interests of the five central banking associations (including the German Savings Banks and Giro Association as well as the Federal Association of German Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks) announced when the NFC technology was introduced that "the same tried and tested and high security mechanisms for use as with the previous contact-based girocard ”.

On the prevention page “Police Your Partner” of the Police Union (GdP) it says: “Anyone who pays at the cash register in the shop does not have to worry because the card is held a short distance of at least four centimeters from the readable device must become. Criminals would have to get very close to the victim in order to access the data. "

According to GdP, a consumer protection expert considers contactless payment to be “basically just as secure as conventional card payments”.

Risk when paying with a smartphone

On the other hand, it looks different with payments via smartphone. There is a risk that “viruses, Trojans or criminal attacks will manipulate the payment process.” For example, seemingly harmless apps can hide dangerous malware that spies out passwords or reads credit card information.

The prevention officers of the GdP therefore advise: If you use your smartphone more often to pay or even use it for online banking, you should keep the device software as up-to-date as possible and use automatic updates. With all payment methods, a “regular control of money movements is advisable”. This is the only way to detect unwanted debits. These would then have to be "immediately complained about" to the respective payment service.