Yoco says tap-to-pay scams on the rise

  • Payment solution provider Yoco says that it is seeing sophisticated tap-to-pay scams sweeping across South Africa.
  • One of the latest methods used by criminals is to scan your card before you tap, creating a digital clone.
  • Yoco says that it uses advanced security methods to reduce the risk of tap-to-pay scams for its machines.

Tap-to-pay exploded in popularity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, where social distancing and physical contact were attempted to be kept to a minimum. Now years later, the method has remained popular due to its convenience.

But this poses a problem, despite the many fraud prevention techniques utilised by most banks in South Africa.

Seller of affordable and easy-to-use payment solutions to SMEs across the country, Yoco, says that it is seeing tap-to-pay scams “sweeping across South Africa.” The latest method criminals are using involves sneakily scanning the tap-to-pay-ready card of victims with their smartphones, creating a digital clone.

“These scams typically involve criminals using sophisticated techniques, such as portable card readers equipped with skimming devices, to intercept card details during tap-to-pay transactions. The consequences for unsuspecting victims often involve unauthorised charges and significant financial losses,” writes Yoco in a press release sent to Hypertext.

These types of tap-to-pay scams are becoming popular among criminals because they do not require a PIN input below a certain monetary amount and most do not require a OTP to be introduced before payments can be processed.

“We are deeply concerned about the recent incidents of tap-to-pay scams and their impact on South Africans’ trust in payment technology,” says Bradley Wattrus, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Yoco.

Thankfully for small businesses and informal vendors that use Yoco products for card transactions, Yoco’s security is on par with the big banks.

“Yoco Tap is as secure as regular Chip and PIN card payments, with every card featuring a built-in security check. The entire Yoco ecosystem is internationally recognized and certified as secure by Visa, MasterCard, and EMVCo, the official certifiers of Tap, Chip, and PIN card readers worldwide,” explains Wattrus.

“We’re proud of our sophisticated risk monitoring, aimed at detecting and addressing fraud. Additionally, all online payments through Yoco are backed by 3D Secure,” he adds.

Yoco says that it uses encryption protocols to secure card data during transmission, ensuring that private information is not intercepted. Additionally, Yoco machines are able to replace sensitive card information with unique virtual tokens further reducing the risk that your card information may be cloned.

“Yoco’s systems are equipped with sophisticated fraud detection algorithms that analyse transaction data in real-time, enabling the immediate identification and prevention of suspicious activities,” the company concludes.


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