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Blink - brave new world or bad idea?
Old 11-19-2008, 01:37 PM   #1
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Blink - brave new world or bad idea?

I just got a replacement visa card (old one was expiring) and it seems to have a RFID chip in it. Chase calls it the Blink system. The basic idea is that you wave your card past their specialized reader (available in some locations) and it "reads" the card info from this chip - no signature needed to process. Great! I wonder who else can read this chip when I'm not paying attention?

Has anyone had experience with this or know of issues associated with RFID chips?
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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Mastercard has been doing this for a while. But I confess I don't know much about it other than waving the card gets the transaction through more quickly than swiping the card.

Technology, ain't it (fill in the blank here)!

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Old 11-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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I would assume it's encrypted...

RFID Gazette: MasterCard RFID by Texas Instruments

MasterCard PayPass | PayPass Technology & Security*| MasterCard®
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
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Regarding signatures, I recently bought stuff and was asked to sign one of the electronic signature lines/scanners. I dropped the thing I was holding in the process, and the signature came out as just a bunch of random lines and scratches.

No problem, transaction approved in seconds.
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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One of our credit cards doesn't even know what our signatures are supposed to look like--applied for it online several years ago, never were asked for signatures.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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Right, no difference except psychological between swiping and waving.

No signatures are needed below a certain amount anyway ($25? $50), but most merchants ask for them.

Your electronic signature doesn't matter (though it should). There's a guy who has posted all the signatures he's used. Most of them are pictures or musical staffs, etc. He's never been rejected. I'll try to find a link.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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Here's the link:

The Credit Card Prank

However, the graphics don't work on my browser -- maybe you can see them.

Other relevant links:

The Credit Card Prank II

Credit Card Signature Hoax
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:32 PM   #8
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Hmmm - look up American Passport Card.

And no - tinfoil hats do not screw up the signal.



heh heh heh - we spent the big bucks to renew her and my old fashioned Passports.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Right, no difference except psychological between swiping and waving.

No signatures are needed below a certain amount anyway ($25? $50), but most merchants ask for them.

Your electronic signature doesn't matter (though it should). There's a guy who has posted all the signatures he's used. Most of them are pictures or musical staffs, etc. He's never been rejected. I'll try to find a link.
I'm guessing that they only look into the signature in case there is a dispute, or after the fact if they flag unusual activity. No routine check, so it really makes no difference what you put there, unless it is questioned later.

I guess a polite thief could sign it "Thanks for the big screen TV!".

-ERD50
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I just got a replacement visa card (old one was expiring) and it seems to have a RFID chip in it. Chase calls it the Blink system. The basic idea is that you wave your card past their specialized reader (available in some locations) and it "reads" the card info from this chip - no signature needed to process. Great! I wonder who else can read this chip when I'm not paying attention?
Some thefts occur because the store clerk swiping the card for your purchase secretly records your CC # and then buys something for themselves. If you keep the card in your hand at all times, it removes this theft opportunity.

However, I too would be concerned that someone standing nearby could try to read the cards in my purse by using this Blink system!

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Your electronic signature doesn't matter (though it should). There's a guy who has posted all the signatures he's used. Most of them are pictures or musical staffs, etc. He's never been rejected.
After reading this and other articles on digital signatures, my husband has asked that we both insist on a reasonably clear electronic signature or reject the transaction.

The problem isn't that the store won't accept a nonsense signature -- they are all too happy to do that to get your money! The problem occurs if you want to contest a charge. If you have accepted and paid for charges where your electronic signature is nonsense, then you don't have much of a defense if a store presents a receipt with your so-called signature. If you always insist that the electronic signature is reasonably clear, you should be able to successfully defend any bogus charges with illegible signatures because you have established a pattern of only submitting legible signatures. Sounds plausible enough to me. I've agreed with my husband's wishes on this and now insist on a clear signature. If the machine cannot record it clearly enough, I ask the clerk to let me sign a physical receipt in ink instead and have never been turned down.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had an experiences with bogus charges with a digital signature. I've only heard anecdotal information and would like to hear of any real experiences out there.

--Linney
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:25 AM   #12
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Hmmm - look up American Passport Card.

And no - tinfoil hats do not screw up the signal.



heh heh heh - we spent the big bucks to renew her and my old fashioned Passports.
That may be true as tin isn't going to absorb the frequencies used for radio, however Aluminum will.
Damn Interesting Tin Foil Hats Proven Ineffective

The high tech paranoid has a pocket with aluminum foil sewn into it. Or you could buy one of these: RFID Passport Wallet - Magellan's Travel Supplies
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:09 AM   #13
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Chase sent us Blink cards and we just called them up an asked for new cards without the technology. They gave us the hand waving that they were safe but sent us new cards. Wasn't till we got the new cards that we noticed that the old cards had not expired and the new ones (including Blink) had the same date as the old one. They were just trying to push the new stuff out for some reason.

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Old 11-20-2008, 08:17 AM   #14
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I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had an experiences with bogus charges with a digital signature. I've only heard anecdotal information and would like to hear of any real experiences out there.

--Linney
I used to do fraud investigations. What the signature is doesn't matter unless the cardholder wants to dispute a charge. Then the burden of proof lies with the merchant to show that the cardholder really approved the transaction. They can do that with a signature or a video of the purchase.

A brain cramp at the moment prevents me from recalling the relevant federal statute. Bottom line is, if you didn't make the purchase then you don't have to pay.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #15
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I like to do business with the merchants who require that their clerks actually look at my photo ID. It was shockingly rare at first, but gives me an odd sense of confidence.

Even my cat is chipped! But I toss out the chipped china. Haven't really thought about the chipped cards but I hate the debit idea; threw out one of them, never use the others as debit cards.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:32 AM   #16
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I like to do business with the merchants who require that their clerks actually look at my photo ID. It was shockingly rare at first, but gives me an odd sense of confidence.
You can write on your CC - "ask to see my ID" or diver's license.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:21 PM   #18
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This is a good article on the ethical, legal and social issues attached to RFID tags:

Technology Review: RFID Rights

I'm avoiding them like the plague. Too Big Brother for me.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:36 PM   #19
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On the subject of the merchant asking for ID, that just seems like a feel good thing for the cardholder, and adds some protection for the merchant. If a thief steals your card he is probably going to avoid the merchants that check ID. I would think a stolen card number would be more likely to to used online than in person. Never had an online merchant ask for ID (although some of them do try to validate identification, like shipping only to the billing address, etc.)
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