| 23 Min Read
Posted on: Friday June 5, 2020Reading Time: 23 minutes
Despite practicing caution when it comes to using your credit cards, identity theft has become more and more sophisticated over the years. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) skimming has become trendy that criminals can capture all the info on your credit card and create a duplicate with barely any effort.These criminals are getting crafty every day and ensuring that your information is at a greater risk with every passing moment. The worst part being they don’t really have to get hold of your cards to duplicate it, they can just pass by you in a crowded place and get their jobs done which makes your cards and money even more susceptible.
And this trend isn’t just isolated to credit cards. Passports can also be targeted remotely, causing concern among travelers. It means that all your valuable information is at risk even if you don’t lose your passport. You may never find out how your information got leaked as the sources are highly unpredictable. That’s where RFID wallets come in handy.
What’s the difference between EMV, RFID, NFC?
Before we even go further, it is important to know the differences between EMV, NFC, and RFID.
EMV stood for EuroPay, Mastercard, and Visa. These are the three companies that started this standard. EMV cards are equipped with a chip that can authenticate transactions. This chip is read by the payment terminal to minimize the risk of fraud. By the end of 2015, 53% of cards processed by Square Stand have EMV chips. What makes EMV unique is that the card must be dipped instead of being swiped to be read by the machine. An alarming study about EMV suggests that While EMV technology has helped reduce crime at the point of sale, fraudulent transactions have shifted to more vulnerable telephone, Internet, and mail order transactions.
Now, NFC stands for Near Field Communication.NFC devices can act as electronic identity documents and keycards. It means that smartphones and other devices such as a payment reader can communicate without the need for contact. A good example of this is Apple Pay. You only need to get your Apple device such as your iPhone to a nearby NFC reader to have a successful transaction.NFC can be used for sharing small files such as contacts and bootstrapping fast connections to share larger media such as photos, videos, and other files.
The difference between RFID and NFC is that RFID works at a greater distance. Transactions can be made by how many feet. A practical application of RFID is when automated toll gates collect fees directly from your credit card. The boom barrier gatelifts the moment transaction with your credit card has been cleared.
It means that RFID chips can communicate with a device without even initiating communication. You just need to have an RFID reader close enough to enter the electromagnetic fields of the RFID chip.
Though it is convenient given the number of practical RFID applications, this technology can also become a threat to your information, privacy, and finances. There’s the possibility that some RFID hackers can duplicate your credit card, passport, and other RFID powered device without even stealing your physical wallet.
Do You Need an RFID Wallet?
The conversation regarding data protection is now in the spotlight considering how thieves can get their hands on your credit card or even your important information even from afar. The question is: do we need an RFID wallet? Should this be a new standard considering the vulnerability of RFID technology?
First, there are skimming devices for as low as $100. It means that it doesn’t take much for someone to have this kind of device and steal information stored in your card or your passport. And the fact that this information is sensitive and can cause huge losses, cannot be denied in any sense.
Some argue that you most likely don’t need to have an RFID wallet because credit card companies have taken the necessary precaution to authenticate transactions. You have things such as the three-digit number found at the back of your card or your personal info such as your date of birth and middle name to confirm transactions.Well, this information can be retrieved using RFID readers without even touching your card. Additionally, some are saying that less than 5% of cards in circulation have the RFID technology.
But is it just about credit cards? Are you willing to take the risk because of the small number of RFID credit cards?
For instance, you have access cards for your workplace that rely on RFID technology. Could you imagine thieves getting their hands on your access card at work?This might not just harm you but your entire firm. Let’s admit that data security is something that you don’t want to take lightly. And having said that, it is evident that the need for data security and necessity for prevention of electronic thefts has ben ever increasing.
Take having a spare tire for instance. Having a spare tire doesn’t mean that you are looking forward to having a flat tire going to work. It just acts as an additional support which helps you drive worry-free. Similarly, the bottom line is that having an RFID wallet allows you to have that peace of mind while protecting your data simultaneously.
Best RFID Wallets
But not all RFID wallets are the same. Some are better than others. And since it is still a wallet, it needs to satisfy two things. It needs to be classy and functional at the same time. You want a wallet to look like a classy wallet. Perhaps, something which matches your style and personality and the colors that reflect you? And at the same time, you want something functional. You want something that can keep your cash and cards properly and neatly organized.
Moreover, your wallet must also act as a protective layer for all the information stored in your cards. Since electronic thefts are increasing day by day, RFID protection is a must. RFID wallets block any transmission of data from your cards to any RFID chip readers nearby which in turn ensures safety.
Some RFID wallets are available with additional features like separate slots for different cards providing you an organized space, while others offer you metallic body to reduce the wear and tear. Many others provide you with additional money clip to keep your cash handy. Its mandatory to prioritize your requirements before investing in the RFID wallets to ensure that you pick the right one for yourself.
If you are in the market for the best RFID wallets, here are some of the options that you might want to consider.
The Noosa is a stylish RFID wallet that can hold up to 15 cards. It is also a great wallet that can organize your cash. As a clip wallet, it allows users to stay classy while maximizing the small package for everything that you need.The Noosa can hold at least five notes which is highly sufficient for a note capacity of a wallet. You do not want unnecessary piling in it. As for the cards, it has a flexible elastic webbing that can secure up to 15 cards at once.
Moreover, Noosa is classic in feel and usage along with being trendy in style.
If you are looking for a trendier look on your wallet, then the Bondi wallet is a good option for you. The Bondi wallet is large enough to fit everything that you need in your wallet. With a metallic texture and varied color variants, the Bondi allows you to accommodate up to 12 cards in your wallet. Attachable cash clip and lifetime warranty on the manufacturing defects makes this wallet perfect for regular usage.
But of course, this is made of metal and hence may define an entire new feel and experience of wallets for you.
The Ridge Slim
The Ridge slim wallet can hold up to 12 cards without stretching and is ideal for carrying all types of cards, bills, etc. The additional money clip allows you to clip several bills inside your wallet. Ridge wallet comes with cash strap as well to hold your loose cash and allow you to stay organized with your cards.
However, there are many wallets with similar features available at competitive prices. Moreover, the metal design may make it inappropriate for your fashion sense and in longer run, scratches on the body could create an issue.
Columbia Men’s Leather RFID Wallet
Columbia Men’s Leather RFID wallet is made of durable and eco-friendly materials. And apart from keeping your cards safe, it also features a natural fold construction that makes it easy to keep in your pocket. The wallet also has double-stitching on the sides layers to ensure double security on any unwanted receipt or cash falling from your wallet.
Unfortunately, this only has six card slots. Knowing how many cards we tend to have in our wallet, this may not be enough.
Bryker Hyde Window Wallet
Bryker Hyde wallets are made of pebble leather and thorough stitching throughout. It has 2 ID window slots with an additional 9 card slots to segregate the IDs and the cards on the go. While this wallet allows you to carry everything in an organized way in addition to RFID blocking, it must not be forgotten that the leather design might make it bulky when everything is inside. Made of traditional yet high quality leather, it is bound to complement your looks along with multiple color variants offered by Bryker Hyde in their wallets.
It is ideal for travel, holidays, and vacations, it might not be suitable for carrying on a regular basis due to the bulky design.
Radix One Black Steel
It has a sleek stainless-steel construction with the holding capacity of around 4-10 cards. This also has RFID protection feature. It comes with a modern design and weighs 3 oz. for a heavier, solid, and noticeable feel. The manufacturers of Radix One Black Steel wallets offer one-year warranty against any manufacturing defects for customer satisfaction and quality assurance.
With a lot of cards, it may be comparatively heavier to carry than expected. Therefore, regular usage of this wallet may not be very efficient. While the design is sleek and stylish, it may not be very handy depending on your usage.
This wallet is made of heavy-duty polycarbonate and aircraft-grade aluminum interiors to prevent your cards from bending and cracking. Along with automatic locking system, the wallet itself shut close and flips itself open with the push of a button. Moreover, it has 3 RFID blocking card slots to prevent the skimming attacks over your personal information. Flipside offers 2 years warranty over manufacturing defects, so you can get your wallet replaced for no extra cost.
The automatic lock system makes it a little complicated for frequent usage and the heavy-duty material decreases the shape flexibility to negligible. Hence, it is suitable for carrying in bags etc. only due to its rigid design.
Tips To Make Your Wallet RFID Safe
So, what if don’t have your RFID wallet? How do you minimize your risk?
There are different types of materials that can help block RFID. You have materials such as aluminum, mu-metal, and copper faraday shields, and carbon fiber faraday shields. Wrapping around aluminum foil on your cards and your passport can offer some amount of protection to block RFID. But of course, it isn’t something that can last for a long time. Aluminum foil is vulnerable to tearing which could get hackers access to your data. Hence, it is advisable to protect your information with trusted wallets and brands. Trying DIY hacks to make your wallets RFID reader resistant may help for a while but it keeps your information vulnerable as there is no guarantee of such hacks. Therefore, relying on the new technologically advanced RFID Safe wallets is the most secure option. Switch to these latest trending wallets.
Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, you should always want to exercise due diligence on all your cards. Make it a habit to check any questionable transactions made on your card. If you notice anything suspicious, call your provider right away. Moreover, ensure keeping your personal details safe and keep changing your linked account passwords regularly to avoid these data losses.
Keep yourself safe and your data safer.