Is Tapping Faster Than Swiping?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs Tapping Faster Than Swiping?
RFID Journal Staff asked 11 years ago

Do you think MasterCard PayPass' claims of increased speeds for tapping versus swiping are due to RFID technology, or to changes in their integration?

—Name withheld


I don't know the answer to that, but I will make a few observations. There is no doubt that tapping is much faster than paying with cash, and it's probably marginally faster than swiping. You can tap without removing your credit card from your wallet, which saves a little bit of time. The real benefit, however, is that RFID-enabled cards are much more secure than mag-stripe cards, as the latter are easy to clone and there is no difference between a clone of a mag-stripe card and the original.

With an RFID transponder, there can be two-way communication between a card and a reader. The interrogator can send a new encryption key every time the card is used, making it difficult to clone the card. I know there are people out there who want to scare everyone into thinking RFID is dangerous, but the issuers are convinced it will reduce fraud, which is a good thing.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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