How Visa payWave Security Protects You from Digital Pickpocket

Visa payWave card

“A digital pickpocket easily lifts contactless credit card information by standing close enough to a victim.” You probably watched a similar viral video that shared by your friends on social media network.

Is your Visa payWave contactless credit card safe?

In this article, you will learn what is digital pocketing, how does Visa payWave contactless credit card work, and why it is save and convenient payment method.

Visa payWave in Malaysia

Do you know that Visa payWave contactless card introduced in Malaysia since 2007? It has been in our wallet for 11 years!

Now Malaysia has Visa payWave terminals available for consumers nationwide. You can find them at various merchants, such as hypermarket, cinemas, restaurants, convenience store, etc.

visa merchants

Visa payWave can be found on credit, debit and prepaid cards, and even on a smartphone or a sticker.

It uses Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow you pay by simply ‘waving’ your card or phone at a contactless reader when prompted. You will only be asked to sign or enter a PIN when a transaction is more than RM250.

In Malaysia, you can apply a Visa payWave cards from most local banks: AEON Credit Service, Alliance Bank, AmBank, Bank Islam, BSN, CIMB Bank, Hong Leong Bank, HSBC, Maybank, Public Bank, RHB Bank and UOB.

Visa payWave is well acceptance payment method in Malaysia with over 1 million monthly payWave transactions and 60% month-to-month growth.

Digital Pickpocketing: How does it work?

First of all, a digital pickpocket not only needs to have a special portable contactless card reader. (Don’t ask where to get one.)

Then, he/she needs to stay extremely close to the target because contactless credit card has an ultra short 4cm read range and takes more than half a second to read the card data.

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Even a digital pickpocket successfully holding a reader next to you to scan the contactless card in your wallet, the lifted credit card details are only card number and expiry date.

A complete credit card data have:

  • the card holder’s name
  • 16 digit credit card number
  • card’s expiry month and year (MM/YY)
  • 3 digit CVV number

Nothing much digital pickpocket can do with the limited card data. So far, with million monthly Visa transactions, no fraud report from electronic pickpoketing fraud attacks.

Why Visa payWave is Safe and Secure?

For card-present transaction at shops, each transaction requires the EMV chip on the card to generate a one-time secret code to authenticate the transaction. And, transaction over RM250 will requires your personal credit card PIN.

EMV chip technology provides both data protection and transaction security via the use of keys and the latest encryption technology. Visa payWave transactions are processed through the same payment network as EMV chip transaction.

For online shopping, you will need to enter the 3 digit CVV number that only printed at the back of your Visa cards (not store in card chip) and one-time-password (OTP) that send to your mobile phone for authentication.

Plus, all Visa transaction is processed by VisaNet, the company’s global processing network, in real-time for their fraud potential. Visa is able to identify fraud patterns and detect suspicious transactions right at the checkout.

Visa payWave Questions & Answers

1. Could you be debited twice if you have more than one contactless card?

No, Visa payWave reader only communicate with one card at one time. The reader will ask you to select a card to use if it detects more than one contactless card.

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2. Could I be charged by walk past the card reader?

No. Your card has to be waved within 4 cm of the card reader for more than half a second. Plus, the retailer must first entered the amount for you to approve. Then, the terminal can only process one payment transaction at a time to reduce transaction errors.

3. What information is transmitted from the card during payment?

Only account number, expiration date and a unique dynamic code are transmitted. The code is not encoded on the card like magnetic stripe. Therefore, bank or card issuer would be able to identify fraud transaction from a counterfeit card.

4. Is it able to create a counterfeit card from the intercepted contactless card?

Every Visa payWave card has a EMV chip that use advanced cryptography security to generate a unique code for each transaction. Bank or card issuer would be able to identify and prevent the transaction if the unique code does not match.


Digital pickpocketing is complex to execute in reality because one will need contactless card reader and ultra short range to lift data. The lifted data has limited potential for fraud too.

Also, no way a digital pickpocket can clone a EMV chip that generate the same cryptography code that changes for every contactless transaction.

A fake code would be identified instantly by VisaNet global system and prevent fraudulent transactions.

Now, you know your Visa payWave has high-security and it is convenience. Would you “wave” a cup of coffee for me, please?

For more information, please visit Malaysia Visa payWave.

Disclaimer: The views are my own and do not represent views of Visa and associated companies.

*This is a sponsored post.

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