Citibank Credit Card Payment Tag Offers Convenience and Security to Cardholders

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Citibank Credit Card Payment Tag Offers Convenience and Security to Cardholders

MasterCard PayPass, a new payment option offered by Citibank, is being touted for its convenience and security. The key feature of this new technology is the PayPass payment tag. It attaches to a key ring and is available at no additional cost to Citi credit card holders. Cardholders simply hold the payment tag up to the special reader at any checkout that has the MasterCard PayPass logo and wait for the receipt. The payment tag never leaves the hand of the consumer (i.e. no swiping is required) and select merchants do not require signatures for purchases under $25.

Despite obvious security concerns, MasterCard and Citibank claim that the payment tag actually offers enhanced security features. Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is the technology used to scan the payment tag. When the payment tag is scanned, the consumer's purchase details are processed, account information is read and approved through MasterCard's secure network. Another security and privacy benefit to the cardholder is that no personal or account information is displayed. Finally, as mentioned previously, the PayPass payment tag never leaves the hand of the cardholder.

For a complete list of current merchants currently accepting PayPass, visit:

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  1. Creed Wait
    April 06, 2012 - 3:50 am
    This payment tag thing seems to be loaded with security problems. All someone has to do is see me use it, then casual wave a concealed reader or scanner past my phone while recording the signal or data from my payment tag. Then that person discreetly records the information on a new tag and walks right back through a series of checkout counters buying everything in the store. This appears to be something that would quite easily accomplished by tech-savvy criminals. How can this thing possibly be secure???
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  2. katherine
    June 13, 2011 - 3:46 am
    Thanks for replying Geoff. Actually, I applied for the account long ago, it's just that I prefer using the old-fashioned plastic card for purchases, and the payment tag just showed up in the mail one day (along with my updated card). As far as destroying it, I laughed out loud at the thought of running over the thing with a car. (Is it me, or does it seem pretty ridiculous that someone would have to go through that much trouble?) Unfortunately, I live in NYC and don't own a car, so your suggestion leaves me thinking creatively about other ways of destroying the unwanted bugger. Tie it to a subway track? Toss it into Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal? (So polluted it's guaranteed to corrode anything.) Perhaps if the tags were higher in sodium or calories Mayor Bloomberg would take care of the problem by outlawing them for me. Until then, I guess it will kick around the back of my filing cabinet for another couple of years until I remember to check this blog again.
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  3. Geoff Williams
    May 25, 2011 - 2:44 pm
    A lot of people use a hammer to disable the RFID chip in a credit card, so I'd go one better and run over the Paypass device in my car. That should destroy it enough that nobody will be able to use it. And then if you're still worried, and especially if you think you somehow applied for this card and that your name is on it, I would call the customer service line and make it clear that you didn't ask for this account and don't want it. You don't, after all, want an open credit line with your name on it, that you never intend to use, since a lender may look at that and factor that in, in a negative way, when deciding whether to offer you a loan.
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  4. katherine
    May 16, 2011 - 9:56 pm
    I don't want this and was sent one in the mail anyway, which I simply filed away. Now I'm cleaning out files and want to dispose of it. How the heck do you do that? You can't cut these things in half, as you would with a card. If I throw it in the garbage, (or if I lost it, for that matter) couldn't someone just pick it up and use it at any participating merchant, particularly any with no-sign points of sale?
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