21 April 2016

Experts warn of fraud, lost cards and ‘card clash’ as contactless payments for travel is rolled out

IT’S been heralded as an Australian first making life easier for the travelling public. 

But fraud experts have warned commuters that the price to pay for being able to tap on and off with their bank cards, rather than smartcards like Opal, could be high.

While transport bosses have warned that there’s the real risk passengers could be charged twice if they tap on wrong in future. A spike in lost cards is also, well, on the cards.

On Monday, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance, said a contactless payment trial would begin in 2017 which could see people ditching their Opal cards forever.

Similar to smartcards, passengers will tap on at the barriers but with their debit or credit cards, with the fare deducted directly from their bank account. There will be no need to top up ever again.

“Contactless payment with credit and debit cards would offer customers another easy to use and convenient option for travelling,” Mr Constance said.

The campaign in London to warn customers not to place their bank cards and smart cards in the same place. Picture: Supplied.
The campaign in London to warn customers not to place their bank cards and smart cards in the same place. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied


London is a pioneer of smartcard systems, introducing the Oyster card in 2003. In 2014, Londoners began tapping on and off with bank cards with 25 per cent of journeys, or more than a million each day, now paid for via debit and credit cards.

However, the transition has not been without its problems and has even led to a whole new word entering the lexicon of Londoners — “card clash”.

Speaking in Sydney on Monday at the Future Transport Summit, Transport for London’s Director of Customer Experience, Shashi Verma, said the city’s transport authority had to educate customers to not fall victim to card clash.

“We had to warn customers to keep their debit card separate from their Oyster cards because, if you don’t do that, there is the slight possibility that you might be charged on the wrong card,” he said.

The problem arises because if a passenger keeps all their cards together, and places their whole wallet or purse above the reader, they could tap on with one card and then tap off with another.

Alternatively, people with multiple bank cards have found the fare deducted from the wrong one.

In the August 2014 run up to the official launch of contactless payments in London it was estimated some 2000 transactions every day were occurring on bank cards without the knowledge of travellers who thought they were using their Oyster cards, reported the London Evening Standard.

In some cases, Londoners have even taking to wrapping the card they don’t want to use in tin foil to prevent it from being accidentally charged.

Mr Verma said it was important to be on the front foot to avoid angry commuters and London’s card clash campaign had “worked out very successfully”.

Opal card turnstiles at Gosford that will soon accept bank cards. Picture: Peter Clark
Opal card turnstiles at Gosford that will soon accept bank cards. Picture: Peter ClarkSource:News Corp Australia


But don’t tell that to the public transport users who, in an attempt to avoid card clash, then lost their cards altogether.

In February 2015, it was revealed more than 2000 lost smart and bank cards were handed into London Underground and rail stations every month following the introduction of contactless payments.

The Mirror reported that in the entire year before contactless cards only one month had seen more than 2000 cards handed in and much of the time the figure was less than 1000.

It appeared, that in the panic to tap on with the right piece of plastic, Londoners were doing a quick card shuffle before they reached the barriers and scattering the whole lot across the station floor losing some in the process.

But a far more concerning worry is fraud.

CEO of FraudWatch International, Trent Youl, told news.com.au the extra handling of bank cards could leave people vulnerable.

“Since contactless payments have become the norm, there has been an increase in physical credit card theft.

“If public transport, which is used by so many people, is added to the uses for contactless payments, one might expect that physical credit card theft may continue to rise.”

Matt Cole, President of Cubic Transportation Systems, which runs NSW’s Opal ticketing system.

Matt Cole, President of Cubic Transportation Systems, which runs NSW’s Opal ticketing system.Source:News Corp Australia


Even keeping hold of their cards might not be enough, he said, if personal bank data is hacked from transport databases.

“The consumer can do nothing to prevent this from occurring, and just using this type of system once will ensure their credit card details are stored within a database for an unknown period of time.

“It is highly likely that a holder of a large amount of consumer’s credit card details will be a major target for online attack, and in this day and age, one can almost assume that this type of database will be breached at some point,” said Mr Youl.

The President of US based Cubic Transportation Systems, Matt Cole, which runs the Opal system, said Australians were already using their bank cards to tap on and off. In fact, data from London shows Australian issued bank cards are second only to UK cards when it comes to entering the Underground.

He disagreed that using bank cards led to a new security concerns.

“There’s certain security measures you have to go through to provide protection to a system that accepts credit and debit cards.

“But that’s no different to a smart card system where you can add value to a card like an Opal, so much of those security requirements already exist,” said Mr Cole.

“Essentially what you’re doing is changing the location of that transaction from the web or vending machine to the turnstile itself.”

A spokeswoman for Transport for NSW told news.com.au that commuters would continue to be able to choose between Opal or bank cards and a contactless rollout would include a “comprehensive customer information campaign” on the use of credit or debit cards when travelling.

“A lot of critical work needs to be undertaken in the first stage of this project such as finalising partnerships, working with the finance and contactless payments sector, developing the software and then in 2017, undertaking a customer trial,” she said.

“Transport for NSW takes data security very seriously and will work with the finance and contactless payments sectors to implement rigorous industry standards on system security.”


It is also important to note the video from MuthBusters who were banned from talking about RFID chip used by VISA and American Express.

See video at:

20 April 2016

Mass surveillance via transport system

What the majority of the general populous does not comprehend is that in 'law', Australia is still a penal colony of good ol' mother England.

Sure you can be a millionaire, enjoy the tropics of the Whitsundays, be a mining magnate and send your tax free profits to occupied land overseas to build compounds for illegal settlers, be a billionaire, or even (the best part about it) leave this colony also known as a continent.

Once you're on this continent though you're considered a criminal at law that has to prove one's innocence despite what you are told to believe, being the catch phrase "innocent until proven guilty".

Australian law follows Roman law, where strict and absolute liability is in force.

Got any doubts?

Just look at you local court list where a matter of an alleged parking fine or speeding fine has occurred it is listed as a criminal matter.

But alas that is a digression.

The 'authorities' on this prison isle are about mass surveillance and control of movements of the general populous, as you do in a penal colony.

In older styles of trans-'port' (between ports) travel registration, the likes of paper tickets, the movements of the plebs was relatively anonymous. 

Irrespective of digital surveillance technology implementation, the movements are still relatively anonymous through the newer generation of ticketing systems, like Opal in NSW or Myki in Victoria, where the traveler could purchase credits anonymously, meaning the 'name' was not linked to the card.

So in order to log the pleb's travels, the authorities made a nice and simple package marketing ease of use, or what ever other advantages to use one's credit card.

Many people still today do not use credit cards.

Is this a way of the 'authorities' forcing the plebs to use technology that logs their travels?

As we should know credit companies give out their database to whoever gives them the required monies. It's not rocket medicine.

and all this technology is for YOUR benefit and  ease of use.

See article from 18 April 2016 from news.com.au for the headline:

NSW Government to trial using bank cards to tap on and off transport system

Soon you’ll be able to catch a train or bus with your bank card. Picture: Peter Clark

IT SOUNDS innocuous enough but an announcement on Monday of a trial using bank cards to tap on and off Sydney’s transport system could lead smartcards — such as Opal, Myki and Go — to become as quaint and old fashioned as cheques, just a few years after they were introduced.

As heralded by news.com.au in December, from 2017 Transport for NSW will allow passengers to use contactless credit and debit cards to pay for public transport meaning they can ditch their opal cards all together.

Similar to smartcards, passengers will tap on at the barriers with their debit card but the fare will be deducted directly from their bank account meaning there will be no need to top up ever again.

However, commuters outside of NSW will have a long wait for the new technology with smartcards likely to hang around until near the end of the decade in Melbourne, Brisbane and other major cities.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance, who made the announcement at the Future Transport Summit in Sydney on Monday morning, said the trial was an Australian first.

“Only a few major mass transit systems, similar in scale and complexity to Sydney’s, have introduced contactless payments,” Mr Constance said.

“Contactless payment with credit and debit cards would offer customers another easy to use and convenient option for travelling.”

The first trials will take place in 2017 after new software has been installed in the current system — likely to be a not inexpensive process.

The current Opal card system cost $1.2 billion to install and followed a tortured earlier attempt at a smartcard, called Tcard, which was eventually abandoned.

In London, where contactless payments were introduced in 2014, more than 25 per cent of passengers — or more than a million people a day — have given up their smartcards for their credit card.

Is the Myki system able to be converted to allow using bank cards?
Is the Myki system able to be converted to allow using bank cards?

In December, the head of global payments giant MasterCard’s ‘transit centre of excellence’, Will Judge, who was previously involved in London’s Oyster smartcard, told news.com.au, NSW was in the box seat when it came to the next leap in ticket technology.

“We believe that Transport for NSW took some wise decisions in equipment they purchased that seemed to suggest they had an eye to the future,” said Mr Judge.

Transport systems needed to be easy to use or people will choose to drive instead, he said.

“How can you stop the thought process of someone going, ‘I’m in a hurry, I’d like to get on that bus, can I get a ticket in that shop over there and will the bus still be there when I get back?’ to a much more spontaneous, ‘Great there’s a bus, I’ve got something in my pocket I can pay with, I just get on, tap and ride it’.”

Using bank cards has another benefit — the card you use to tap on in Sydney you can use to tap off in London saving people from a wallet full of different smartcards.

However, those outside of the emerald city may have a long wait to get their own trial.

Neither south east Queensland’s $140 million Go Card system or Public Transport Victoria’s [PTV] bespoke $1.3 billion Myki system, both of which went live in 2008, are unlikely to be able to make the change any time soon.

The technology they run off was introduced years earlier than Opal and, as such, is significantly older.

A spokesman for PTV told news.com.au they were in the midst of a tender process to contract a provider to operate the existing Myki system.

“Our main focus is the continuity of ticketing services but the chosen vendor must have the capability to identify and deliver future technologies that support service improvements and revenue growth,” the spokesman said.

News.com.au has contacted Queensland’s transport authority to ask when a bank card trial, similar to Sydney, was likely to happen.

Last month, news.com.au revealed that NSW transport bosses were working on a single-use Opal card that will see single and return paper ticket finally consigned to the history books.

Despite Monday’s announcement being an Australian first, in London passengers are beginning to pay for travel with their mobile phones, banishing their bank cards altogether.
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19 April 2016

Australia to play leading role in new world order

Lord Howell pushes for strengthening of Commonwealth, tips Australia to play leading role in new world order.

Could Australia take a lead role in the new world order? Picture: istock
CHARLES MIRANDA in LondonNews Corp Australia Network
AUSTRALIA is in a unique position to take a lead in the emerging new world order with its wealth, relative political stability and ‘old networks’ propelling it to strategic strength in an unsettled world.
That’s the view of senior House of Lords figure and one-time Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Lord Howell who has proposed a strengthening of the Commonwealth to reflect changing times.

But his belief Australia could have a leading role to play in the league of nations comes amid a debate in the British parliament on new visa laws set to see low earning Australians deported and tougher restrictions to stymie new migrants wanting to come into the UK.

Speaking on the eve of Commonwealth Day on Monday, where the Queen will lead celebrations at Westminster Abbey, Lord Howell said in an unsettled world the league of 53 nations had added importance particularly as a bloc to fight jihadism.

Australia becoming a republic has been a hot topic of discussion in recent months, but staying with the Queen and the Commonwealth. Picture: ADavidson/GoffPhotos.com.
Australia becoming a republic has been a hot topic of discussion in recent months, but staying with the Queen and the Commonwealth. Picture: ADavidson/GoffPhotos.com.Source:Picture Media

He said it should no longer be considered a “club of past affairs” but rather an ideal platform for future, on issues such as trade, security and tackling jihad, particularly in countries like Nigeria.

But he said Australia was in the box seat as a rising power in Asia to drive that influence and expansion that could only aid the UK doing business in that region.

“My sense is Australia feels the value of the growing Commonwealth network as never before,” he told a Commonwealth briefing at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

“The issue is how Australia fits into the rising new trade patterns of the world which now favours the Commonwealth.

“A place like Perth in Western Australia looking at the Indian Ocean is really becoming something of the centre of the world, rather than an outside part of the world, as is the other side of the country facing the southern Pacific as well.”

He added: “Its no longer the Anglocentric system of the history, although its true the Queen as head of it is here, this is a network and Australia is a key part of it.”

His words came as in the House of Commons, MPs were lining up to condemn plans by the Government to next month introduce the first of a tranche of new laws designed to reduce migrant intake from countries outside the EU.

Proposed laws would see Australians on low wages in the UK sent home. Picture: istock
Proposed laws would see Australians on low wages in the UK sent home. Picture: istockSource:Supplied

An e-petition of more than 100,000 signatures from the public prompted the debate during the week condemning moves for potential new skilled migrants to have to earn 30,000 pounds (about AUD $60,000) minimum in the UK to migrate.

The average salary in the UK is 26,500 pounds and the Government wants to use higher salary thresholds to prioritise higher value, skilled migrants within the Tier 2 visa route.

Some MPs who spoke to the bill said plans to deport those earning less was “crude” and “ludicrous” and had caused confusion and uncertainty and could create a skills shortage in the UK.

Under new rules companies would also have to pay a surcharge to employ a non-EU migrant. The government is yet to speak on the bill.

 news.com.au 11 Mar 2016

Maybe  model for Australia to send back low paid migrants back to where they came from.