British firm develops RFID security technology to prevent ‘skimming’

A British company has developed new security technology to prevent the wireless "skimming" of contactless payment and access cards.

A British company has developed new security technology to prevent the wireless "skimming" of contactless payment and access cards.

The new generation of contactless credit cards, passports and access control devices use short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

It is possible for someone to "skim" (or read) these without the owner realising it by using a handheld scanner a few feet away.

The stolen information can then be used to make cloned copies resulting in financial and identity fraud.

British company Peratech has devised a system which it says will prevent unauthorised skimming.

Peratech said it has developed patented technology called Quantum Tunnelling Composites (QTC).

This system creates a tiny, ultra-thin, pressure sensitive switch "which ensures that the device can only be read when the owner is pressing the switch", said Peratech.

The company plans to reveal more details about its security system on 5 September.

Read more on Identity and access management products

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