The Australian Financial Research Group CANSTAR has devised a recommended 3 x step user guide for getting the most out of the increasingly popular PAY-PASS bank card option. The latest numbers from Beyond Bank Australia point to a growing trend of widespread, nationwide popularity with around 86% of Australian consumers preferring to go contactless particularly with small purchases such as coffee, groceries and alcohol etc, a huge jump up approximately 50% since mid 2014. From those surveyed, many replied they found it the most convenient method especially in the supermarket, during lunch hour and on the run generally.
The number 1) tip for regular users is to keep your card with you at all times or at least always know where your card is at all times. Failure to do so could lead to the card falling into the wrong hands and presenting an opportunity for somebody to drain your account over the space of a couple of days or until such time as they get caught. The sooner you report a missing card the more time the bank has to remedy the situation and in a best case scenario reimburse you some if not all of the misappropriated funds. Most banks will honour any losses in the situation of a stolen card however the more vigilant you are the better chance of never having that awkward and in most cases avoidable conversation with your bank manager. Ryan Holman, Senior Manager of Products and Transitional Banking at Beyond Bank Australia had this to say on the topic “Every bank should provide you with a number that can be called 24-7 to cancel your card. You can usually find this on your bank’s website. However, it might be best to write it down or save it to your phone if you’re travelling overseas.”
The number 2) tip for regular users is to keep track of how much you spend either by memory or even by jotting it down in a notebook or diary? These days with so much expenditure being done by plastic and less and less cash (banknotes) changing hands, it is deceptively easy to lose track of weekly/ monthly budgeting plans and guidelines. A helpful method of staying on top of spending patterns is to trial one of the many apps and tools available. It pays to be diligent and will save you from kicking yourself when you realize you’ve overshot the mark with your budget cap!
The number 3) tip for regular users is to always ask for proof of payment. That way both yourself and the shopkeeper know you are checking that the numbers are correct and you eliminate the possibility for error or foul play. As the instances of consumers withdrawing money from ATM decreases and the use of contactless payments increases exponentially, it makes sense to cover yourself and play it smart. It only takes a matter of seconds to get a receipt after the transaction and paper wastage aside, it is a safe bet in such present times of the time-poor, work-leveraged modern consumer.
The final question on everybody’s lips is PAY-PASS a 100% secure network? Some experts worry there may be holes in the system? That the bank cards could be ‘skimmed’ or in a worst case scenario could be cloned by credit card fraudsters? Ultimately it appears the latest chip variety bank cards are the most secure and hardest to ‘skim’ due to an intricate coding system performed during every transaction by an issuing bank, one obstacle that some banks have the very latest most up to date machinery while others may have slightly older model equipment that in effect places a ‘lag’ on the program and very marginally weakens the security of the overall system, however the latest messages from APCA (Australian Payments Clearing Association) are that the matter at hand is being dealt with rapidly and with no small priority and certainly at this point by no means represents any clear and present danger whatsoever to Australian consumers.