A View From the Front Lines: Cyber Crime and Contactless Payment

11 April 2018

With nearly four in ten (39%) card transactions in the UK now being made either online or with a contactless card, according to data from The UK Cards Association (UKCA), security is becoming a key concern – only the Da Vinci Choice card will ensure all your card payments are safe.

In all, there are around 174 million payment cards in issue in the UK. Of these, 57% are debit cards, 34% are credit cards, 6% are ATM only and 3% are charge cards.

This equates to 51.1 million of us carrying debit cards around in our wallet, with 32.3 million carrying credit cards.

Unsurprisingly, as we continue to press towards a cashless society, the value of credit and debit card purchases continues to rise more and more as each year ticks by. Indeed, in 2016, plastic overtook cash as the payment method of choice for the first time ever, with more than half of all purchases being made with a card during the year.

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(Image source: theukcardassociation.org.uk)

After getting off to a slow start, the popularity of contactless payments is now growing across the UK, as consumers are finally starting to embrace the speed and convenience of the technology.

Now, half of all credit cards are contactless, as are two-thirds of debit cards.

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(Image source: theukcardassociation.org.uk)

As more and more retailers now accept contactless, the amount we’re spending is also on the increase. 2.9 billion contactless payments were made in 2016 – up 174% over 2015 – totalling £25 billion. Within this figure, 22% of all debit card payments made were contactless – and this is forecast to increase to 51% by 2026.

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(Image source: theukcardassociation.org.uk)

The Pressing Need for Safer Contactless Payments

The main appeal of contactless for many people is of course, how quick and easy it is to pay for goods in-store – provided, of course, that what you’re buying amounts to less than £30. Just a simple tap and you’re done.

However, the downside is that today’s generation of contactless cards aren’t particularly safe. If you lose your card or someone steals it, it’s extremely easy for someone to treat themselves to a shopping spree on your behalf until you notice the card is missing and cancel it.

This is because that although £30 is the limit for a single contactless transaction, multiple transactions can be made throughout the course of a day. Indeed, research from consumer magazine Which? found that it was possible to spend more than £200 on “stolen” contactless cards over the course of a few hours without shoppers ever being asked to produce a PIN.

And it gets worse – in 2018, MoneySavingExpert discovered that it was possible to make purchases on a contactless card even after the card was reported stolen.

It’s hardly a wonder, then, that contactless card fraud is on the rise. The latest figures from Financial Fraud Action UK reveal that in 2016, £6.9 million was lost to contactless card fraud – up from £2.8 million in 2015.


(Image source: bbc.co.uk)

Remote Purchase Fraud (Internet, Telephone, Mail Order) Also on the Rise

Financial Fraud Action UK’s report also reveals that remote purchase fraud – also known as card-not-present (CNP) fraud – is also increasing.

The vast majority of this type of fraud involves the use of card details that have been fraudulently obtained via unsolicited emails or phone calls, or other cybercrime techniques such as phishing, pharming, malware or data hacks.

Once the card details are stolen, they are then used by criminals to make fraudulent purchases online, over the phone, or by mail order.


(Image source: financialfraudaction.org.uk)

The Da Vinci Choice Card – Secure Payments Wherever and However You Shop

With contactless payments rising in popularity in-line with increased online spending, the growing concern is the subsequent rise of cybercrime and contactless payment fraud.

Unfortunately, the cards that banks and credit card companies issue today leave consumers exposed to these rising threats.

The Da Vinci Choice card is the solution.

The same size and shape of a regular funding card, the Da Vinci Choice card is in fact much more. Loaded with enhanced security and payment protection features, the Da Vinci Choice card enables all the convenience of contactless and online spending, but without the risk.

This is because the Da Vinci Choice card generates one-time PIN and security codes that become completely worthless once used. Users link up to eight of their existing funding cards to the Da Vinci Choice card, any of which can then be used simultaneously to fund the Da Vinci Choice card as it’s being used to make secure payments – including contactless payments – wherever Mastercard® is accepted.

Secure Contactless Payments

When it comes to making a contactless payment, users must first turn on their Da Vinci Choice card, select the funding card they wish to use to fund the purchase, and then enter their secret four-digit Da Vinci PIN into the back of the card itself. Only then can the Da Vinci Choice card be used to tap and pay in-store, meaning that even if you lose your card or have it stolen, no one else will ever be able to use it – the perfect balance between convenience and risk.

(Video source: youtube.com)

Keeping You Safe When Shopping Online

The Da Vinci Choice card also keeps you safe when shopping online or over the telephone.

There is no static security code printed on the back of the Da Vinci Choice card like there is with all other funding cards in circulation today – nor is there a date of expiry. Instead, the Da Vinci Choice card features an in-built eInk display screen and numerical touch keypad.

When making purchases online or over the telephone using the Da Vinci Choice card, users must first turn on the device, select the payment card they wish to use, enter their secret four-digit Da Vinci PIN into the back of the card itself, and then the Da Vinci Card will display a one-time three-digit code for use when prompted for a security code, followed by a two-digit code that stands in for the card’s date of expiry.

What this means is that you never have to reveal your funding cards’ actual details when making online purchases, rendering identity theft and CNP fraud impossible.

 (Video source: youtube.com)

Complete Payment Protection – Register for Your Da Vinci Choice Card Today

In addition to safe contactless and online payments, the Da Vinci Choice card also offers unrivalled protection no matter how you use it.

Indeed, when using the device to withdraw cash from an ATM or make a larger purchase in-store, the Da Vinci Choice card generates one-time four-digit codes that you then use instead of your funding cards’ actual PINs. These codes cannot be re-used, meaning that they are of absolute zero value should they be revealed to a fraudster.

In fact, so long as you never reveal your secret four-digit Da Vinci PIN to anyone else, the Da Vinci Choice card will deliver the ultimate in purchase protection, no matter if you’re making contactless payments, shopping online, in-store, over the telephone, or withdrawing cash from an ATM.

Launching in 2018, join the spending revolution   register for your Da Vinci Choice card today. 

Written by: Simon Hewitt, CEO,

Simon founded Da Vinci based on his passion and expertise in the information and financial security. As a leader in his field, he loves to write about his observations in order to help progress the industry as a whole.