Opt-in function proposed for contactless payment

Financial institutions may need to get customers’ consent for contactless features to be activated on their card, as per a parliamentary committee’s recommendation.

According to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement's report on finance related crime, a number of submissions from various organisations argued that the latest technology had led to more avenues for card fraud. The rollout of contactless payment technology has been seen as a significant factor in this rise.

Researcher RFi Group found that Australians are the biggest users of contactless payments in the world with 53% of people who own a contactless card using it.

For the last few years, Victoria Police and banks have been disagreeing over the issue, with the police saying that contactless cards, which do not require a PIN at the point of sale, had encouraged an increase in the number of thefts. The industry on the other hand, has rejected these claims, saying that the contactless mechanism is not a driver of card fraud.

The committee further said that it shared the concerns of law enforcement agencies that the rollout of new technology without consulting law enforcement agencies has the potential to become a driver of financial crime.

The committee recommended that banks and other financial service providers should consider law enforcement issues more carefully and facilitate discussions with law enforcement agencies about new technologies before rollout.

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