Radio-Frequency Identification, or RFID for short, is a technology used across a wide variety of industries ranging from animal idenitification to to telemetry. RFID technology involves matching a transmitted signal between two 'tags' in order to identify or transmit communication / data.

In regards to TORRO products, any inclusion of RFID would be focused on the protection of the 'tags' in credit/debit cards in order prevent again unauthorised scanning for a payment on your card, without you realising.

The Rise of Contactless Payments

In the UK, contactless payments have fast become the new norm, owing to their ability to make a quick and convenient payment. The days of coming home with a pocket full of coins are now behind us, when you can simply grab a coffee or your train ticket with a single tap of your card, instead.

Perhaps even more convenient is that of mobile payment, given that you do not even need to carry your card. It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of nowhere without signal, the ‘tag’ is embedded into the software of your device ready to be called upon to make the purchase

Unfortunately, as with any technological advancement, also comes those that would seek to exploit this. RFID scams are still extremely rare and not often reported. The media have referred to a rise in car key RFID data being intercepted by criminals and used in auto-theft. As the car has the RFID ‘tag’ for keyless entry and start / stop technology, if the tag is digitally copied it can be cloned onto a dummy chip. This is a very rare crime which has an extremely low report rate but obviously piques the interest of motorists thus a commonly reported on piece of news.

Unauthorised Card 'Skimming' and How to Combat It

A far more common scam is the unauthorised skimming of payment cards. Using a contactless card reader connected to a wifi network or hotspot, a criminal can use this to attempt to skim credit cards in their vicinity. As the max contactless payment is now £100, an individual can attempt to skim any value under this value.

They can attempt to skim this payment from a card by tapping someone's pocket or bag, hoping that the card is contactless and within a few centimetres so that the tap will charge the card for the amount transmitted by the 'tag' on the card reader.

A criminal with a couple of hours to kill at a pop concert or sporting event could attempt to tap the rear pockets of hundreds of unsuspecting, distracted event goers within a matter of hours.

At TORRO we successfully tested the theory with our chip and pin device and managed to charge a payment card in a rear pocket in a wallet as an experiment (our team was instantly refunded).  As a brand founded by two ex-Police detectives many years ago, solving this problem was an issue close to everything we believe in. At TORRO we always say that the difference is in the detai’ and this is one detail we were keen to add to our range of Bifold wallets.

To combat card ‘skimming’ with our Bifold wallets we added a mesh to the outer lining which blocks RFID, meaning any radio signal from a tag attempting to communicate a payment request to a tag on a contactless card would be blocked and not make it to your card, thus blocking the payment.

An eye for detail will notice our slim card holders do not feature RFID blocking, this was also a design led detail. The majority of customers who use the card holder reported that it’s primary function was to keep cash, business cards and travel tickets. We found that due to the contactless nature of travel passes such as oyster cards, it was more convenient to tap the card holder rather than frantically try to retrieve the travel ticket.

Do TORRO Phone Cases Feature RFID Blocking?

We considered adding this same RFID blocking technology to phone covers, however the trade off is that this can intefere with functions like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. Given the rise in popularity of mobile payments and after a extensive period of consulting our customers, it was concluded that a greater number of people would prefer their ability to make mobile payments without interference and therefore the decision was made not to include RFID protection in our phone cases.

Whether it is the security of your credit cards or the convenience of quick and easy travel, the TORRO design team have a stylish solution for you all made with genuine leather.

Extended Protection

We have now included RFID blocking technology in more of our premium leather accessories.

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