Wifi option in Visa debit and credit cards

One year back I applied for an ICICI credit card. I was using it for few months. I didn’t know much about the features of the credit card but I was just using it. One day when I went to an ice cream shop and gave the card for payment, the vendor took my card near his machine and gave it back to me. I asked me if he swiped it or not. There are two options, they can either swipe or they can use the chip in the card. I was surprised to see that he didn’t do both. I also received a message from the bank saying that the amount was debited. I was quite surprised because I did not even enter my pin for the usage.

That is when I really came to know about the existence of a Wifi option in the card. It was quite strange. They told me that it is a new feature available in Visa credit and debit cards where we don’t really have to enter our pin details and the swipe or chip is also no longer required. At the first instance I found it as a cool option but later after discussing with some of my friends and having a deep thought about it, I realized that it is an idiotic way of utilizing the technology.

I was wondering how can someone be so stupid in inventing such features with so much of security issues. And I really pity the bank that decided to use this feature without even thinking from a customer perspective. Though there are lots of justifications provided by the company about this feature, there are still lots of potential risks involved in using such features. I also heard that there is already a Case filed against Visa for this. But I still see banks issuing cards with this Wifi feature.

Issues in this innovation

I completely understand that it is a great feature to have for faster payments. But I don’t think everyone will be willing to let their card free for a scam transaction to happen. I watched a video that clearly explained how bad this innovation is. You can also watch the below video to understand about it.


After watching this video I went and did some research. The company talks a lot about other restrictions that they have placed on the card to make the transactions safe but I don’t really buy their claim. In a way, we are secure because they have a restriction that a scammer cannot take more than 2000 Rs in one transaction using a Wifi which means we will be able to use Wifi option only for transactions lower than 2000 Rs. But I will not be really convinced because it is still money at the end of the day. Now watch the below video about how they advertise their cards. It is still not convincing for me actually. See if it is convincing for you or not. I’m really not against Visa company but this idea, in particular, is not so great for people who live in a country where lots of scams are happening.


How to stay safe from credit card frauds?

I’m going to write a separate article on this topic but just to give a quick overview. Try to be aware of what is happening on your card. Review the notifications that you receive for all the transactions you do. If you find a message about a transaction that happens without your knowledge, you have to file an FIR and contact the bank immediately. Though I also have to Wifi card with me, I try to keep the wifi transactions to minimal and also make sure my wallet is not exposed for someone to easily make a purchase using the Wifi option.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

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