Flaw in Visa cards could ring up a very large fraud
Visa’s contactless payment cards will approve very large transactions in currencies other than the British pound due to a flaw in a protocol, U.K. researchers contend.
They concluded it would be possible for criminals to turn a mobile phone into a point-of-sale terminal and pre-set a large amount of money to be transferred from a payment card even if it was in someone’s pocket.
The type of card, known as EMV after its developers Europay, MasterCard and Visa, uses a microchip to facilitate transactions rather than a magnetic stripe. EMV will soon be used widely across the U.S.
Some types of EMV cards are configured for “contactless” payments, where a customer doesn’t have to enter a PIN for smaller transactions that in the U.K. are limited to £20 (US$32).