Researchers identify vulnerabilities within Apple Pay and Visa

Samsung survey payments

Experts from the University of Birmingham have identified vulnerabilities that could see hackers take advantage of Apple Pay and Visa to engage with contactless payments in the absence of the phone’s owner. 

It’s a combination of Visa and Apple Pay’s features, specifically when it comes to the ‘Express Travel’ feature integrated into the app, that opens up potential vulnerabilities. 

The researchers also revealed that they brought the potential threat to the attention of Apple and Visa, who both underlined the strength in the security of their offering. 

Nonetheless, Visa also emphasised that the tests took place in a lab, therefore may have avoided some of the signals normally used to find fraud.

It comes as the digitalisation of payments accelerates and the threat of fraud evolves as we emerge from the pandemic and new consumer habits take hold. 

In the UK, a report by Experian recently revealed that banking fraud is now at its highest rate in more than three years. 

Utilising the latest data from the National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service, the analysis revealed a significant surge in fraudulent activity targeting British businesses and consumers.

According to the data, the fraud rate for current accounts witnessed an increase by 13% in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter and was up 24% when compared to the same period in 2020.

Furthermore, the digitalisation of UK payments has also grown with the further embracing of contactless payments in the region – giving an additional boost to Apple Pay engagement and also alteration when it comes to strategies that are required to combat fraud. 

The contactless limit in the UK was raised from £45 to £100, following growth in the transactions as consumers sought to combat the spread of the pandemic, and minimise contact with payment touchpoints.