Most electric vehicle (EV) charging stations operate solely on the basis of a credit card connected to an app, or radio frequency identification (RFID), or an intact payment using the driver's smartphone. Intact payments are one of the most secure payment methods because they completely eliminate the credit card and reduce the possibility of card cloning or data storage. In the case of charging stations - which are often ubiquitous and of poor quality - support for intact payments can help reduce counterfeit devices and credit card fraud.
However, several states have proposed installing credit card readers at EV charging stations.
Arizona, California, Nevada, Vermont and some New England states are reportedly considering installing credit card readers at state-funded charging stations.
These proposals may make a lot of sense, but they could expose drivers to new security risks and provide easy access to attractive targets in cyberspace," say security researchers April Wright and Jason Street of the nonprofit consumer group. Digital Citizens Alliance, write in their article.
Instead, they believe EV charging stations and other vending machines should continue to rely on contactless payment methods and Rep. 's credit card readers.
'These proposals would essentially bypass the industry's cautious assessments of charging options,' the researchers say.
'A big part of the problem is the continued use of magnetic stripe cards. It's still one of the most common payment methods in the U.S.
Other countries, including the U.K. and much of Europe, have adopted chip and pin as the primary method of paying for goods and services, while the U.S. still uses the insecure magnetic stripe. Hackers can easily recover credit card data and commit fraud by copying stolen magnetic strips. Chip-and-pin is more secure than magnetic strips, but card fraud remains a risk until chip-and-pin becomes the primary method of payment. Even with chip-and-pin cards, fraudsters can use hidden cameras with holes to steal payment card numbers and card verification codes.
Credit card fraud is believed to be a 2 billion industry.
The use of mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, increases the risk to the point where the card becomes almost completely unnecessary.
Until safer options are used, the introduction of magnetic stripe readers on EV chargers is an "unnecessary risk" for drivers.
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