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back to article Dutch banks and operators go contactless

A trio of banks has joined three Dutch network operators in creating compatible NFC infrastructure, based on SIM security, aiming to bring contactless payment to the Netherlands by 2012. T-Mobile, Vodafone and KPN are the operators, while Rabobank, ABN Amro and ING make up the banking side of the table. The companies have signed …

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Anonymous Coward

Bill, what's with the astroturfing?

How is a technology no end-user wants going to be useful? How is something so obviously and blatantly abusable going to be suitable to replace things that weren't as wirelessly abusable?

Personally I'd insist on a number of things for electronic in-person payments. Some form of contact at least, not the wave your cash in the air like you don't care jig demanded by the operators now. The ability to pay anonymously like with cash -- I really don't want yet more things to track me. Not getting stuck with the liabilities for things I didn't want in the first place. And a couple other things. Yet none of those make it into bankers' thinking and not a peep from you. How is it that the RFID mob manages to completely distort decision makers' thinking, not to mention industry reporting, away from what's good for their customers? What gives?

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Coat

Contact contention

I've got a Barclay card with this new fangled NFC feature... but what happens when I have a wallet full and you plonk your wallet on the pad (like you see people doing in Hong Kong with their Squid-based Oyster-type card). Does every card compete to pay, and you have no idea which one has won? Or, do they all pay for you leaving you paying several times for your copy of Razzle and the Daily Mail?

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based on experience

of the 4 different contactless access cards i have for work, none of them appear to work if bundled together. I think that's a limitation on the reader though, to stop people firing loads of codes all at once to gain access to practically anything. Presumably, the system would stop trying to process a transaction as soon as the first payment is completed on any card, but i wouldn't want to rely on it.

However, if money is going to be involved i want it so that some definite action on my part is required to initiate each transaction. Such as in the current system of inserting the card physically into a reader! Waving it in the general direction just isn't good enough for me, as any number of readers could be in the vicinity of my wallet without my knowledge or consent. The whole system seems to be predicated on the assumption that whoever is in possession of the readers is going to be honest!

Oyster cards work, because paying as you walk past is the entire purpose of the system, and it's pre-pay, it's not directly linked to, potentially, all the money you possess in the world.

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Cards in wallett

If you just plonk a wallet with a bunch of cards on, it's likely that it just won't work although maybe there will be a dominant card, I'm not 100% sure it may also depend upon the orientation of the cards within your wallet. However, the systems are intended that you remove your card from your wallet to display that you have it, if only that you can be sure that you know the card you're paying with, not like Oyster where they don't care.

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Gold badge
FAIL

No Flaming Chance

As long as this card works without any user interaction it doesn't matter where the chip lives - it means you can ring up purchases from a distance without the user knowing - all you need is a bigger aerial.

No thanks.

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Hmm...

It's not as simple as having a bigger aerial getting an NFC to operate over larger distances. The main thing getting in the way of 'drive by' chargings of a NFC type card is the need for a merchant account - anyone collecting payments from a NFC card has an audit path between the money leaving the cardholder's account and the money entering a merchant account.

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Gold badge

The audit path isn't an issue

When you start collecting low value payments you generally stay under the radar because people only spot big deductions. This means you'll be operating long enough to pass the threshold time and walk off with the cash.

I appreciate what you mean to say, but audit is a tool that needs enforcement of the results. From what I have seen, the networks Visa and Mastercard really don't care one flaming toss about your safety because you pay for it in higher transaction charges. From their point of view it's not a problem, so endangering you some more is not an issue either.

There is a hint they know rather well what they are about to do: they limit transaction value. When, in the history of credit cards, have you EVER found a time where a setup voluntariliy limits its opportunities to get you further in depbt? Exactly, when there was an unmanageable risk that would affect their income. QED.

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