Pacsafe RFID-Blocking Wallets
A few months ago my Dad emailed me an article about the risks of credit card fraud due to the recent introduction of RFID chips into some of our cards. Basically, if you see a little symbol on your card that looks a bit like a wifi icon – three 5 curved lines, then this means your card is enabled for RFID. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and essentially means that with the right equipment in a shop, or at any pay-point for that matter, you can simply swipe your card past a reader rather than having to put it in and type in your pin. The downside to this, it turns out, is that it’s not too difficult for unscrupulous folk to get hold of their own readers and to wander about busy places inconspicuously putting their reader (inside a bag) close to our pockets and handbags and literally pinching our data. Pretty scary stuff. I was a little sceptical, but a bit of web research showed that it is indeed a problem. It also showed that there is an easy way of preventing it, and that is to get a wallet or purse with RFID-blocking material built into it. I guess it’s a bit like putting something into a mobile safe! Coincidentally I needed a new wallet at the time so thought that I may as well find one with RFID-blocking properties. Pacsafe very kindly sent me a selection which I have been using over the last couple of months.
I have a Compact Organiser, a Bi-Fold Wallet and a Ticket Wallet. The one I’ve been using most is the Bi-Fold wallet. Without the necessary equipment I’m not able to test out the blocking properties, but I’m working on the principle that it works and that I am safe from scanners when using it. The wallet itself is a gem, really well thought through. It’s small enough to fit into my jeans pocket. It has two zipped compartments, one on the outside for change, and the other on the inside for notes or other important documents. The zippers are compact and feature small elasticated pockets to sit inside so they don’t snag, two nice little features that typify the whole design. Inside there are 3 tiered credit card slots which comfortably hold a dozen or so cards. Behind these are two more pockets that will again comfortably hold 3 or 4 books of stamps and some business cards. On the opposite side (the wallet opens like a book) is another stamp sized pocket, and a transparent sleeve for travel tickets etc. The internal zipped pocket is the full width of the opened wallet, about 20cm, and there is also a second, slightly wider, open pocket which takes notes, receipts etc. This and the three credit card slots are all open and, if the wallet if tipped upside down, could release their contents, but once the whole thing is closed and the elastic strap used to hold it together it’s all pretty snug and I’ve not lost anything yet. My only concern is the longevity of the elastic strap. I know from experience of elastic straps like this that it will eventually become stretched and loose. We’ll see how long that lasts. It’s metallic grey, with a line green strap and zips.
The Compact Organiser is essentially a bigger brother of the Bi-Fold, with 7 credit card pockets instead of 3 and a larger transparent pocket, and deeper notes pockets (zipped and non-zipped).
The Ticket Wallet is larger still, with 13 credit card pockets, a large and a small transparent sleeve, an elastic retainer for a pen or pencil, and two additional plastic sleeves for different sized memory cards (roughly SD and micro SD). Perfect for holidays and big enough for passports (which also now carry RFID technology and are scannable).
Sizes (closed and open):
Bi-Fold Wallet 12.5cm by 10.5cm by 2cm | 16cm by 10.5cm by 1cm. Retails at £19,99 at Millets.
Compact Organiser 16cm by 11cm by 2cm | 22.5cm by 16cm by 1cm. Retails at £19.99 on Amazon.
Ticket Wallet 23cm by 12cm by 2cm | 25cm by 23cm by 1cm. Retails at £26.58 on Amazon.
Check out the whole RFID-blocking range from Pacsafe here: