Many bank and credit cards are now equipped with NFC chips (Near Field Communication), as are smartphones and watches. In the supermarket this means: hold the card or smartphone in front of the card reader, wait for confirmation of the transfer and transaction, done! But some people fear misuse, for example by fraudsters secretly reading data with their own readers. What to look out for when making contactless payments in the supermarket.

In principle, banks and smartphone manufacturers agree that NFC is a secure technology. The savings bank qualifies them as “very safe” because any scammers come very close to their victims with the special readers and would also have to know where the wallet is carried. When paying with the card, the PIN code must also be entered from an amount of 25 euros.

If you still want to be even more secure, you can buy a special protective cover for your bank card, which completely prevents unwanted communication. However, it is usually sufficient to carry several cards one on top of the other, because the security regulations of NFC technology stipulate that transactions are aborted as soon as several chips are in the vicinity of the reader.

When making contactless payments with a smartphone or watch, you can also protect yourself by simply switching off the NFC function after a payment process. At least on Android devices this is an option, iPhones do not currently allow deactivation. Some banking institutions also offer online deactivation of the NFC function of their card.

For the sake of security, you should do without the function that allows the NFC chip to interact even when the device’s display is locked. Even if the cell phone is stolen or lost, it cannot be used to pay with the screen locked.

However, in order to be able to pay with your smart devices via NFC chip at all, a payment app must be set up on it and activated as NFC-enabled in the settings. As a rule, providers such as GooglePay, PayPal or the online banking of your own bank provide detailed instructions for setting up the app on Android and iOS devices.