Another large US bank has announced they are accelerating the rollout of contactless (RFID) credit and debit cards. Starting the first week of April 2019, all new Wells Fargo credit cards will be issued with RFID technology, and the bank will add the RFID chips to its debit cards beginning this summer. You can link to the news story here.
2019 now stands to be the largest year ever for the roll out of tap to pay cards in the United States. Why the push for these new cards? As one researcher, A.T. Kearney, reported: Banks stand to boost earnings by $2.4 billion by transitioning to contactless-card technology because contactless card transactions often replace cash.
And it stands to reason, the more RFID card transactions, the more transaction fees are paid by the retailers who accept them.
It is becoming more important than ever to make sure your cards are protected from electronic pickpocketing, or "crowd-surfing" as some have called it. We have already seen in Europe that as the number of RFID chip-enabled cards increases, so do the number of thieves targeting those cards. We can expect a similar outcome here in the US.
On more than one occasion ID Stronghold has been publicly accused of fear mongering by the card industry. We have been accused of manufacturing a crisis in order to promote our business. Some may choose to see it that way, but the truth is that we have invested an enormous amount of effort to prevent the roll-out of RFID payment cards. We have spent loads of financial resources to raise awareness of the threat these chips pose to personal security. See some examples here. We even developed a solution that would offer all the benefits of the RFID chip but without the risk, a solution which would effectively make our company obsolete. See our patented Silent Card™ here. Yet it fell on deaf ears. We stand accused and yet who stands to profit the most? (Hint: Re-read paragraph #2)
While we suspect we may have delayed the full roll out for a time, we are simply dwarfed by the sheer size of the banking industry. Not enough people yet understand the risk of an RFID chipped card. But know this, every purchase is a vote against RFID. Your purchases fund the continuation of our crusade. Every time you put your card in a shielded wallet or sleeve, you stand in defiance. To all of our amazing customers who have stood with us, you have our sincerest thanks.