Now that New Zealand is moving over to cards that can be just flicked in front of a little contraption on a counter in a shop, and money is instantly taken from you, a lot of folk are worried. Okay, it's an $80 maximum, but is it safe? Perhaps it's an urban myth that you can just walk past the machine and your card can be recognised from inside a handbag or wallet. And what about skimming? Can a baddie with a hand-held 'skimmer' just brush past you in the mall and get your credit or debit card details?
The bank told me not to worry. "It's only $80, at the most," the bank lady said.
"But what's stopping a thief who has my credit card going in and out of a hundred shops, working his way down Lambton Quay, and using my card a hundred x $80?"
She laughed. "We'd be on them in a trice. Our computers would recognise an irregular pattern.,"
I dug out an old card holder that I had. It's some sort of metal. I put my credit card inside it - fitted perfectly - and I took it down to the supermarket self-service check-out. I bought a loaf of bread and zipped the bread across the barcode thingee. .I waved my little metal card holder frantically in front of the Pay'n'wave machine
Nothing. No money was put on to my credit card..
I took the card out of the little metal card-holder and waved the card. The machine put $2.99 onto my credit card..
Eureka! These little metal card holders (they probably take two or three cards) can be bought at a lot of gift shops. I think they were originally for business cards. When I was in the States, I saw specially-produced holders which had several divisions for, maybe, half a dozen cards. They cost roughly $10, and were advertised as stopping skimmers
Below is my card holder.
25 September: the same multi-pocketed holders that I saw in the States have hit New Zealand because I saw them in a gift shop in Bulls last week. Here's a similar picture, but the ones I saw in Bulls and Vegas were patterned.