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Record Breaking Contactless Card Transactions Reported in July

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Contactless card payment on the rise

According to a report released by the U.K. Cards Association, a total of £2.1 billion-worth of contactless payments were made in July in the U.K. Contactless card payments were 19% of all the 1.2 billion card purchases make in the U.K. during the same month. As the popularity of these “tap and go” cards continues to rise, are you sure your cards are safe?

But are they safe?

Contactless cards are a convenient and quick way of paying for purchases, but it’s been proven that they are not entirely secure. In one study, researchers were able to ‘steal’ card details using widely available, cheap card readers and then were able to place orders using the card details including one for a £3,000 television set. The hassle of dealing with a fraudulent transaction on your card can be a nightmare!


What if we told you that you could save yourself headache of dealing with this and the worry of wondering if your cards are safe? By simply putting the VoyagerBlue Card Shield in your existing wallet along with your contactless cards, you can rest easy knowing that your card details are safe and secure from theft, accidental payment and card clash. And if you’re in the market for a new wallet, all of our Smart Wallets include built in RFID blocking technology to keep your cards safe. Don’t sacrifice the convenience of contactless cards, just make sure you’re protected!

Worldwide Card Payments on the Rise

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globeThe total number of global card purchases increased by 15% in 2015 to 270bn, almost double the 8% rise in card numbers, RBR’s Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021 reveals. “The number of card payments worldwide is projected to rise by 55% between 2015 and 2021 to reach 417bn. This compares to growth of 28% in card numbers over the same period,” the firm says. “The research indicates that consumers around the world are increasingly turning to cards to make purchases.”

Original article by Rian Boden September 8, 2016

Cashless is King

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Author: Paul Heywood

cashlessIt’s said that in the next 20 years, the UK will be a cashless society and in the USA, almost two-thirds of Americans believe they will also be cashless within their lifetime. With this trend happening across the globe, perhaps the age-old saying ‘cash is king’ could soon be long forgotten.

The figures speak for themselves. In the first quarter of this year alone, a total of 88.1 million contactless cards were issued in the UK – a 35 per cent increase on last year – and during 2015, around £633 million was spent using contactless technology. It is unsurprising, then, that Payments UK found that debit cards are now being used for over half of transactions, with notes and coins making up just 45.1 per cent of payments.

This widespread adoption of digital payments resides not only with the fact the technology meets consumer demand for convenience with its ‘tap and go’ nature, but there are also a number of ways we are able use it. For example, the introduction of Apple Pay and Android Pay in the UK has resulted in more and more consumers reaching for their phones to pay for goods and services instead of using old-fashioned cash. In fact, the use of Apple Pay amongst iPhone owners grew nearly fourfold in a year, growing from 12 per cent last year to 47 per cent today and in the US, Apple Pay now claims 3 of every 4 contactless payments.
With these quick and efficient payments methods becoming more and more popular, cash is quickly being regulated to the side lines -so much so that it is estimated by 2021, debit cards and contactless payments will overtake cash usage to be the UK’s most frequently used payment method.

Full Article

Back To School With VoyagerBlue SmartTag

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school-suppliesWhen you think of sending your kids back to school, the costs start to add up quickly. According to a recent report by Huntington Bank, the average cost for elementary school is $659. And it only gets worse as they get older. You can expect to spend a whopping $1,498 for a high school student!

On top of all of these costs, imagine if your child lost their backpack. On top of all the supplies that will need to be replaced, you’d also be responsible for any textbooks they lose as well, which can range from $50 all the way up to $500!

We all know kids are busy these days. From school, to homework, to the ton of after-school activities, they’re all stretched a bit thin. It’s easy to understand how they can forget or lose their backpack.

When you send your child back to school this year, simply add a VoyagerBlue SmartTag to their backpack. The SmartTag will instantly alert them if they’ve left their backpack behind. And if they happen to lose their backpack, the built in map feature will show the last place it was seen, making it easier to find the lost items. Not to mention, they’ll love the built in selfie remote!


Chip and Pin ‘to be hacked within a year’, expert predicts

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A top security expert has warned that fraudsters will crack the technology behind chip and Pin as it finally gets launched in the US.

chipFraudsters will be able to hack the technology behind chip and Pin on debit and credit cards within the next year, a top US cybersecurity expert  has predicted.
Theresa Payton, a former White House Chief Information Officer, has warned that the industry needs to think about developing alternative ways to protect card transactions after experts managed to crack the technology in a test laboratory.


Easy to crack

Payton, now chief executive officer of fraud consulting firm Fortalice Solutions LLC, delivered the warning on chip and Pin vulnerability in a speech at the World Credit Union annual conference in Belfast.

In her speech she explained: “We found in the ethical hacker labs we have been able to spoof chip and PIN at the sales terminals.

“If we can do it in the lab, it is usually within a year that the bad guys can do it on a commoditised, scalable rate – so be ready and be thinking about what is after chip and Pin. “You have got about 12 months.”

Chip and Pin

Chip and Pin has been used in the UK since February 2006, but is only now being rolled out in America.

Cards with this security have a chip embedded into them which stores your details and requires a personal identification number or Pin to authorise transactions, rather than a signature which can be easily forged.

America has been slow to take up the card security due to disagreements between retailers, banks and payment processors such as Visa and MasterCard. But now it is in the process of finally adopting chip and Pin it’s feared fraudulent transactions could rise rapidly.

Payton said that people should be prepared for ‘card not present fraud’ to go “through the roof”.

Fighting bad guys

Payton is one of America’s most respected authorities on internet security, data breaches and fraud mitigation.

She has also commented that international co-operation to fight online financial fraud had improved but there is still more work to do.

She said: “We need to do better at actually locking people up and shutting them down.

“It is getting better but it still has so far to go. I am angry every time one dollar ends up in a bad guy’s pocket.”

Original Story posted online July 23, 2016 here

Symantec’s lost cell phone study confirms the worst in people

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Don’t lose that smartphone — or else! Over 43% of lost phones had their banking app accessed!

SmartTagIn a study by security firm Symantec seems to confirm the worst in people, revealing that people who found a lost smartphone violated the loser’s privacy a whopping 89 percent of the time. And they weren’t just seeking a phone number or email address: On nearly half of those phones, the finder attempted to access the owner’s online banking app.

The Symantec Smartphone Honey Stick Project sought to quantify just how likely you were to get back a phone you had lost, privacy and data intact.

The odds apparently aren’t good.

“There is a very high likelihood [that] attempts to access both sensitive personal- and business-related information will be made if a lost and unprotected smartphone is found by a stranger,” Symantec wrote in the study.

“In today’s world, both consumers and corporations need to be concerned with protecting the sensitive information on mobile devices,” the security firm concluded.

To conduct the research, the company “lost” 50 smartphones, intentionally leaving them in a number of highly trafficked public areas — elevators, malls, food courts, public transit stops and so on — in major cities across the U.S., including Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The company then sat back and watched to see what happened, using the GPS on the phone to track its location and simulated apps meant to mimic banking apps and social networking tools and simulated data clearly labeled “private pictures” or “HR salaries.”

Nearly all of the phones were found, and used — and half of the finders contacted the owners. But far too often, those people crossed the line at the same time, the study said.

“People are naturally curious, but when a lost mobile device is discovered, curiosity can lead to the violation of personal privacy and the exposure of sensitive personal information.”

  • A total of 89 percent of devices showed attempts to access personal apps or data.
  • Attempts to access a private photos app occurred on 72 percent of the devices .
  • An attempt to access an online banking app was observed on 43 percent of the
  • devices.
  • A “Saved Passwords” file was accessed on 57 percent of the phones

The conclusion seems clear: Guard your privacy carefully — and your gadgets even closer. Original story posted here

Utilizing a VB Bluetooth “SmartTag” or “WalletTag”  will alert you the moment you misplace your phone or wallet and can help you find your lost phone with the press of a button, or a map view.

Lost wallets are rarely returned, research finds

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London, England (CNN) — By: Melissa Gray, CNN Only one in five people who finds a wallet in the street would hand it in or try to track down the owner, a British privacy protection firm said Wednesday. 

That’s despite three-fifths of people saying they would try to return it, CPP said.

The findings throw people’s honesty into question, but they also show the importance of taking care of one’s belongings, CPP said.

Researchers dropped 20 wallets and purses in each of five British cities — London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Leeds — earlier this summer. Each wallet or purse contained £10 ($15.60), a photograph, tickets, receipts and business cards that linked the item to the research team.

The “drops” were made at shopping centers, museums, cafes, parking garages, and on the street and public transportation, CPP said.

Only 20 percent of the wallets and purses were returned, and only 55 percent of those contained the original sum of money, CPP said.


Researchers also interviewed a random sample of adults and found that 10 percent had lost their wallet in the past five years, and an additional 8 percent lost their wallets through theft.

The polling was conducted by ICM, which interviewed 2,029 people over four days in July and August.

They found people carry an average of £85 ($133) in cash and more than £7,000 ($10,900) in credit in their wallets every day, CPP said. The average person will also spend more than 110 hours — or four and a half days — replacing their personal mementos, and credit and debit cards, it said.

“Losing your wallet is a highly stressful experience and causes great inconvenience and worry,” said Sarah Blaney, a card fraud expert from CPP. “With the vast majority of people carrying their credit and debit cards, as well as vital personal information in their wallets, millions of people are putting themselves at risk of fraud.”

Researchers found a wallet or purse is far likelier to be returned if it’s lost in a museum, with 47 percent of the ones dropped there having been returned. About a third of those lost in shopping centers were handed in, they said.

None of the items lost in cafes or on public transportation were returned, they said.

Utilizing a VB Bluetooth “SmartTag” or “WalletTag” will alert you the moment you misplace your phone or wallet and can help you find your lost phone with the press of a button, or a map view.

RFID Shield

Credit Cards Can Be Read Through Clothes And Wallets

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RFID ShieldForbes – Hacker’s Demo Shows How Easily Credit Cards Can Be Read Through Clothes And Wallets

Pull out your credit card and flip it over. If the back is marked with the words “PayPass,” “Blink,” that triangle of nested arcs that serves as the universal symbol for wireless data or a few other obscure icons, Kristin Paget says it’s vulnerable to an uber-stealthy form of pickpocketing. As she showed on a Washington D.C. stage Saturday, she can read all the data she needs to make a fraudulent transaction off that card with just a few hundred dollars worth of equipment, and do it invisibly through your wallet, purse, or pocket.

At the Shmoocon hacker conference, Paget aimed to indisputably prove what hackers have long known and the payment card industry has repeatedly downplayed and denied: That RFID-enabled credit card data can be easily, cheaply, and undetectably stolen and used for fraudulent transactions. With a Vivotech RFID credit card reader she bought on eBay for $50, Paget wirelessly read a volunteer’s credit card onstage and obtained the card’s number and expiration date, along with the one-time CVV number used by contactless cards to authenticate payments. A second later, she used a $300 card-magnetizing tool to encode that data onto a blank card. And then, with a Square attachment for the iPhone that allows anyone to swipe a card and receive payments, she paid herself $15 of the volunteer’s money with the counterfeit card she’d just created. (She also handed the volunteer a twenty dollar bill, essentially selling the bill on stage for $15 to avoid any charges of illegal fraud.)

If anyone still doubted that the trick had worked, Paget accidentally flashed the volunteer’s credit card number on a screen in front of an audience of hundreds of hackers and security researchers. “You were planning on cancelling that card, weren’t you?” she added somewhat sheepishly.

The scheme, Paget points out, doesn’t involve any hidden bug in the system, but rather the more fundamental problem that any commercially-available RFID reader can read the data from a contactless card as easily as a store’s point-of-sale device does. “Whatever encryption or other security there might be, it doesn’t matter,” she says. “The reader just spits out the number as if I’m the point-of-sales terminal, which is totally stupid. This is an embarrassingly simple hack, but it works.”

Click here for original article at Forbes.com and check out our RFID Shields and RFID Shielding Wallets to protect yourself!

Mythbusters…RFID test stopped!

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If you are unsure as to whether RFID chips in credit cards, passports, drivers licences etc. is an issue, watch just the first 2 mins of this press conference to listen to Adam Savage answer a question about RFID Censorship at the Last H.O.P.E. Hacker Conference (www.HOPE.net) which took place at the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC. The statement from the audience member was “The one I wish you would visit more is RFID” Adam’s instant reaction of shaking his head and stating “Dude, the RFID thing…” says it all. Listen to how Mythbusters were prevented from reporting on this issues with RFID contactless payments.


New criminal gadget can clone up to 15 contactless bank cards a second from victims who are simply standing nearby

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  • Hi-tech device steals info such as the card number and name and address 
  • Details then written onto a blank card which is used on for speeding spree 
  • Ready-made con kits sell for £500 on London and south east black market
  • Device first to target contactless, which is becoming increasingly popular 

PUBLISHED: 07:14 EST, 12 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 EST, 12 June 2016
contactless transactionA new gadget can be used by criminals to clone up to 15 contactless bank cards a second – from victims who are simply standing nearby. The hi-tech device steals details such as the card number and the person’s name and address contained on the credit or debit card. The scanner – called the Contactless Infusion X5 – extracts the information where it can be written onto blank cards, which can then be used by thieves to go on spending sprees.

Ready-made con kits, including the device, special software and 20 blank cards, are being sold on the streets of London and the south east for £500, according to the Daily Star Sunday. The device is thought to be the first sold on the black market to specifically target the increasingly-popular contactless bank card. The technology enables customers to pay for goods with a single tap of their card on a reader, without the need to provide a signature or enter their PIN number. The device is thought to be the first sold on the black market to specifically target the increasingly-popular contactless bank card.

Looking specifically at consumer payments, the average UK adult made 20 card payments per month in 2015, with around two payments per month being contactless. By 2025 people are predicted to use a debit, credit or charge card virtually every day – at 30 times per month. The UK Cards Association has said that contactless card spending topped £1.5 billion in the space of a month for the first time in March. The milestone was reached just four months after contactless spending reached £1 billion for the first time in November 2015.