2015 saw cashless payments overtake the use of notes and coins for the first time in the UK, according to The Payments Council. Despite the capped limit of £30 per transaction, Contactless accounted for £7.75 billion of UK spend last year – a three-fold increase in the amount recorded in 2014, according to the UK Cards Association.

First introduced in 2005, Contactless technology enables consumers to make fast, secure and convenient payments by tapping their Contactless-enabled card at participating outlets. Increasingly used amongst UK retailers, Contactless eliminates the need to carry small change for everyday purchases. The preferred form of payment for a growing number of public transport operators, it is clear that Contactless is here to stay.

Yet recent media reports of ‘electronic pick-pocketing’ – where fraudsters with card readers or smartphones attempt to access information on Contactless cards - have raised questions over the security of Contactless as a means of payment. So, how secure is this as a means of payment, and what can you do to stay one step ahead of fraudsters?

Designed for Your Security

  • Short range: Contactless cards can only work within a short range of a card reader (0-4cm), which makes it difficult for fraudsters to gain access to card information from a distance. However, please remain vigilant – particularly if you keep your wallet in your back pocket.
  • Limited information: Adam & Company Contactless cards use secure international chip standards and advanced processes. The information transmitted during a contactless transaction is very limited and does not include the cardholder’s name, account number or security code. Please be aware, however, that a small number of online retailers do not need this full breadth of cardholder information to carry out a transaction so monitor your transactions carefully. If you see any unusual purchases, please notify us immediately.
  • Low transaction limits: The single transaction limit for Contactless in the UK is £30. Any larger purchase will require you to enter your PIN. If your card is lost or stolen, this will prevent larger purchases from being made. If you do lose your card or your security details have been compromised, please let us know immediately.
  • Limited liability: If your card is lost, copied or stolen and is used fraudulently to make Contactless payments without your consent, you won’t be liable for any fraudulent transactions provided you inform us as soon as you realise your card is at risk and that you haven’t acted fraudulently or without reasonable care.

Maximising Security for Adam & Company Clients

When you receive a new Adam & Company card, we will always ensure that the first transaction made from this is activated through Chip and PIN or a cash withdrawal in order for the card to be enabled for contactless.

Adam & Company takes fraud prevention very seriously. Although Contactless transactions are capped in value, you will periodically be asked to enter your PIN when making Contactless payments and your PIN will always be required for transactions over the UK contactless limit.

Learn more about Contactless >


Protecting Your Identity – Top Tips

  • Install anti-virus/firewall software on your devices and regularly update it.
  • Never reveal your card or online banking PIN. Ever. To anyone.
  • Choose strong passwords and do not use the same PIN and password for everything.
  • Keep your bank updated with new contact details.
  • Check your statements and immediately report anything you do not recognise.
  • Securely store financial and other valuable documents such as your passport.
  • Ensure you dispose of documents diligently (for example, use a cross cut shredder to destroy statements when no longer required).
  • Where you suspect suspicious activity on your email account, change your password immediately and contact your provider to protect the account from further unauthorised usage.


For more information on how to protect yourself, visit our Security Centre


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