Contactless credit cards are as secure as EMV chip credit cards because they both use the same security standards for transactions. Whether you’re using a tap-to-pay card or inserting your EMV chip card, the sensitive information sent is encrypted. A unique, one-time-use code is created for the transaction instead of sending your name, billing address, CVV code, or zip code. This is called “tokenization.” So even if a thief intercepted your contactless transaction, they couldn’t do much with it.
It’s worth noting that Mastercard acknowledges the existence of phone apps that can pick up some of the data from contactless cards. But the thief would have to be in close proximity to the card, and the app could only read the account number and the card’s expiration date. A typical card transaction requires the account number, the expiration date, the security code on the back of the card (CVV) and/or the zip code from the billing address.
The difference between contactless credit card payments and chip card payments is the method by which the data is transferred. A contactless transaction is done by way of a short-range RF (radio frequency) antenna in the card itself. It simply requires the card to be within a very short proximity (1-2 inches) of the payment terminal, rather than inserting the card into a chip reader.
EMV chip cards and contactless credit cards are both more secure than swiping your card’s magnetic stripe.
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