Credit cards that use radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology were developed so cardholders could simply hold or wave their cards in front of a reader instead of swiping it at a machine. The card reader --- known as a PayPass reader --- scans the card and processes a transaction without a signature. Unfortunately, high-tech thieves have discovered ways of using this technology to steal consumer information and to commit identity theft, prompting many cardholders to question whether the safety of cards with an RFID tag.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Credit card
- Phone number for your credit card company
Look for a PayPass logo on your card. The logo generally shows a series of wavy lines indicating radio waves. Your card could simply state PayPass somewhere on the front or back.
Call your credit company. It's unlikely the materials provided with your credit card will state the card contains RFID in easy-to-understand terms, so call the customer service number on the back of the card and ask.
Verify whether or not the card has the technology by visiting a PayPass reader and testing it. Do an online search for local retailers that use PayPass, then visit and attempt to use your card on a small purchase. Ask the employees at the retailer for assistance if you do not know how to use your card with a PayPass reader.
Perform an online search by entering the name of your credit card and "RFID." Investigate the results to see if other cardholders or the company itself has publicised that the cards contain the technology.
Tips and warnings
- Even if your card does not contain a PayPass logo, it could still have an RFID. RFIDs are not always visible, and not every credit card company discloses that they are included with cards. If you are unsure and wish not to have the technology, cancel your card or request a new, non-RFID card.
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