Just for interest, I went into one bank, where the staff from the manager down did not know what I was talking about when I asked about their policy regarding contactless cards, they had never heard of them. Yet, the bank had sent out a major mailing to all their customers about their changeover plans to these cards, just two days before!
There are banks who appreciate that some of their customers, rather a lot of them, do not want the alternative debit or credit cards, they would like to stay with what they know, imperfect though the system may be. Customers are currently more comfortable using their 'old card technology,' a bit like a pair of old reliable pilling socks. They may pill, but they do not fall apart. These banks are giving their customers a choice to opt out of receiving contactless cards.
People who are holding off changing their arrangements are being cautious. There have been 'accidents'. Funds have been swiped from accounts, where the purchaser has not consciously used the new style card. Scanners have picked up the details from cards resting out of sight in wallets or handbags. Newcastle University has been researching the security of the contactless system. There are ways and means with unsophisticated equipment to scan for these cards -even from across the street .
Personally, I do not find it comforting to know that only five transactions of up to £20 sterling can be lifted from an account before a block is put in place; that's £100 which can disappear. It is not clear whether that policy applies to both debit and credit cards. I do not find it reassuring to hear that the banks will take the risk and refund any losses. I just do not want to go there.
If you're with a bank that insists you use their contactless cards and you do not want to change banks, there is a way to try and block accidental or malicious scanning. If you have not got any kitchen foil, then go get some. I would advise you get a good quality foil which will stand up to at least one day of use. With the foil, line the outer wall of the wallet in which you keep cards; a similar process is advised for purses (if that’s what you use). Otherwise fit a foil membrane into the section of your bag where cards may be placed.
It would be a good idea to regularly check the home-made foil membrane for splits and renew
it as necessary, to maintain your security against opportunistic scanners and scanning.