Proteste, a consumer protection association, reported that it has been receiving complaints about payment via contactless (approach card). According to the entity, the complaints are from consumers who had their cards stolen and do not want to pay the bill for purchases made by third parties. According to customers, when they turn to institutions that represent the cards, they receive the answer that they do not reverse purchases made in this modality.
NFC (Near Field Communication) is the technology responsible for payment by approximation, enabling the consumer to make payments on the machine without having to insert the card and enter the password. This “ease” proved to be promising, due to its practicality and time saving, but also dangerous, bringing some concerns about scams and frauds.
To avoid this type of fear, it was specified that payments in this modality should have a transaction limit of up to R$50, which could change according to each institution. At the end of 2020, the Brazilian Association of Credit Card and Services Companies (Abecs) increased the limit to R$ 200, aiming to meet the growing demand for the new tool.
Despite this, Proteste received complaints from consumers who registered purchases made by third parties with values over R$ 500. When they reported the theft or robbery, consumers, in addition to filing a police report, immediately sought out the banking institutions, representing the cards, asking for immediate blocking.
Damage to consumers
Some customers had part of the amount reversed and others received a refund that the institution does not reverse purchases made in this modality, that is, via the approach card. “Letting the consumer bear the losses of a purchase made by third parties, improperly, is considered an abusive practice in accordance with article 39 of the Consumer Protection Code, since it is the responsibility of financial institutions to place means of diversified and secure payments in the market,” stated Proteste.
“Consumers cannot be punished for the lack of credit card security. Payment via contactless is an innovative method and should remain, as long as its security is reviewed, with a view to protecting the consumer,” said Henrique Lian, director of Protest institutional relations and media.
In the evaluation of the association for consumer protection, it is necessary to have prior consent from the consumer and regarding the activation of this modality, “since many do not even know that they have this tool and only find out at the time of the scam”, pondered the organ.
Approach card care
Marlon Glaciano, a finance specialist, explained that the main precautions are to check the purchase amount before approaching the card, maintain a minimum distance of more than four centimeters between the card and the machine, in addition to monitoring the transaction statement. The customer can also disable the mode: “Usually, through the card application, there is an option where you can enable and disable this function”.
Eser Helmut Amorim, head of Information Technology at Russell Bedford, clarified that, to escape fraud, consumers can buy card covers with RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification – in Portuguese, Radio Frequency Identification) lock and/or bags and wallets with RFID lock. He reinforced that the customer can opt for “activation and deactivation (of the approach card) in the card issuer’s app”, in addition to paying attention to transactions.
I was the victim of a scam, now what?
According to criminal lawyer Everson Piovesan, from Piovesan & Fogaça Advogados, the victim should go to the police station to report the crime. The consumer also needs to notify the bank about the fraud. For the financial institution, the client must present a copy of the Police Report (BO), in addition to informing the company that he received payment for purchases made by the scammer.
What can be done if the bank does not refund the money in case of fraud? According to the lawyer, the measures depend on how the coup occurred and whether the victim did not contribute to the crime. “The bank can be condemned to reverse the amount taken by the criminals. For that, it is necessary to look for a lawyer so that he can analyze and, if necessary, distribute the appropriate action”, indicated Piovesan.
Pix can be returned?
According to the Central Bank (BC), as of November 16 this year, the Special Return Mechanism will come into force, which standardizes the rules and procedures to enable the return of amounts in cases of fraud by the institution holding the account. receiving user, on its own initiative or at the request of the paying user’s relationship institution.
“With this mechanism, the BC defines how and the deadlines for institutions to block the resources, assess the suspected case of fraud and carry out the effective return, giving more efficiency and speed to the process, which increases the possibility of the user recovering the funds,” explained the agency.
“While the special return mechanism does not come into effect, the institutions involved use bilateral operational procedures to handle the cases. It is noteworthy that the responsibility for assessing fraud situations lies with the financial institutions or payment institutions involved in the transaction. The BC creates the rules and operating procedures that allow standardized communication between the two institutions and can penalize institutions that incur in improper use of the mechanism”, completed the BC.
what the banks say
Caixa Econômica Federal replied that it does not operate with the approach card. The Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban), Bradesco and Santander suggested contacting Abecs, which did not respond until the last update of this article. Itaú Unibanco and Banco do Brasil made the same recommendation, but sent the positions to the report. Nubank also expressed itself through a note.
“Itaú Unibanco informs that the NFC technology is a convenience for the customer and has become even more relevant in the pandemic as it does not require physical contact with the equipment used for payment. The bank also clarifies that the customer can disable the feature at the centers service,” he said in a statement.
“In addition, it advises that, when victims of scams or thefts, customers must immediately contact the bank to temporarily block the cards, an opportunity in which they can also contest, for analysis and possible reimbursement, expenses incurred by third parties without the use of a password . In addition, it is essential to file a police report with the competent authorities. Itaú constantly reinforces guidance on security to customers and makes available on its website a section with tips on the subject: itau.com.br/seguranca”, concluded Itaú Unibanco .
“Banco do Brasil receives complaints of financial transactions not recognized by customers, with the opening of a contestation process. This process is later analyzed by the technical area that defines the responsibility of the parties and the reimbursement or not of the disputed amounts” , clarified the institution in a note.
“Nubank has a series of security standards, constantly updating its processes to effectively stop new attempts of scams and frauds. We have machine learning models to assess the risk of an unauthorized access to the application or the risk of a improper transfer,” it said in a statement.
“In case of loss or theft of the card or even unrecognized transactions, for example, we advise the customer to immediately block the card, using the padlock shortcut in the app installed on the cell phone or to contact our service team to request the duplicate of the card or the lock itself — if you are without your cell phone,” he added.
“The customer also has the option to adjust the limit through the app, restricting the amount that can be used with their card, or to disable the contactless function at any time, when the card is not in use or permanently, if they prefer “, concluded the digital bank.