Paying by card is safe, and it’s even safer if you make a contactless payment.
Take it from someone who knows. Christine Hogan, Skyzer’s Software Certification & Support Manager, knows more than most about the risks of card payments and says she feels 100% confident of the level of security in the New Zealand payments industry.
All crucial data is protected by end-to-end encryption. The actual card readers and PIN pads have to comply with strict security protocols. In addition, merchants have to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which sets standards for the secure handling of cardholder data.
Despite some scaremongering, contactless payment is actually safer than using chip or magnetic stripe as the card never leaves the customers hand, so the card information cannot be fraudulently cloned.
Using a contactless card is just as secure as making payment either by swiping or inserting your card due to increased levels of security.
There is no risk of paying accidentally as each payment first has to be initiated by the merchant. The reader can only read one card at a time so if you have more than one card, the terminal will advise the cardholder as such.
Of course, if a criminal gets hold of your card, they can use it to make multiple small transactions. However, most users of major payment cards are automatically protected by a zero-liability policy, which covers you for this kind of fraudulent card use, provided you took reasonable care to prevent it.