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What is RFID Blocking and How Does it Work?
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What is RFID Blocking and How Does it Work?

What is RFID?

RFID stands for radio frequency identification. If you have a credit or debit card that allows you to complete transactions by simply waving your card over a scanner, you’re making use of RFID technology. RFID scanning has made transactions more convenient for many who make use of the RFID chips embedded in their passports, smartphones, and credit and debit cards. Contactless payment makes life move faster, and in our ever-evolving world, speed and efficiency are the name of the game.

Man holding his phone and a card wallet

An important distinction to bear in mind is that an RFID chip is different from the rectangular silver EMV chip found on many credit and debit cards. RFID chips allow payments to be completed on your card without making direct contact with a card reader. In an RFID-equipped card, the RFID chip itself is embedded in the card and not externally visible. If you’re not sure whether your card is RFID-enabled, the best way to tell is to look for the RFID icon on the front or back of the card. This symbol is five concentric angled lines arranged from smallest to largest from left to right. If you see this symbol on your card, it means it’s equipped with an RFID chip and is capable of making contactless payments.

Potential Risks of RFID Scanning

Sadly, there are opportunistic people out there who look for ways to exploit any new technology for personal gain. With the advent of RFID technology, identity thieves have found ways to access your information passively via an RFID scanner. An identity thief can use an RFID scanner to access your card information as you pass by, albeit only from a short distance. However, this is a risk to consider when carrying around a card with an RFID chip embedded in it.

RFID Blocking: How and Why 

The best way to protect your information when using RFID-equipped cards is to carry an RFID-blocking wallet. These wallets are made with a layer of metal lining that will block identity thieves with RFID scanners from stealing your information. Using a wallet with RFID blocking keeps your information safe and lets you work, travel, and make day-to-day purchases with ease of use and peace of mind.

The identity thieves that seek to steal your personal information via the RFID chips in your cards are known as “skimmers.” Skimmers use RFID scanners to pick up data by scanning RFID chips in close proximity. Using a scanner, a skimmer can take and then copy your credit or debit card information for their own use. The tools needed to complete this process are available online and cost only a few hundred dollars. Because of the relatively easy access to RFID scanners and the other tools skimmers use via the internet, it is best to protect your RFID-equipped cards and assume that a skimmer could be anywhere.  

How to Choose an RFID-Blocking Wallet 

Every person needs a good wallet. It’s an essential component in your daily carry. A high-quality wallet should be aesthetically pleasing, made from good materials, and able to effectively store your cards and cash. This is where Ekster comes in.

A woman at a bar with her phone wallet and phone

When durability, quality, and minimalism are your priorities, you can’t settle for a mediocre wallet. Wallets that are bulky, cheaply made, and easily damaged end up being more of a burden than a help. Ekster offers modern, sleek alternatives to the wallets you’re used to seeing, improving on classic designs for optimal use in a fast-paced world. 

If you don’t already carry a smart wallet, now is the time to start. A good wallet is an essential component to implement into your daily carry. Making the investment in a high-quality wallet means convenient access to your cards and cash in a compact and easy-to-use format. 

Introducing the Modular Bifold: A New Spin on an Old Classic 

If you’ve been toting around the same beaten and battered wallet for the last decade or longer, it’s high time for a new one. Many people still carry old-school bifold wallets, designed with cash in mind, and rarely equipped with RFID protection. With the Modular Bifold by Ekster, it’s another story. The Modular model takes the classic bifold format and reinvents and improves upon it to include RFID-protected card slots and still leave plenty of room for cash. Its modular design allows for the magnetic cardholder to be easily removed and used on its own, or in tandem with the whole wallet The Modular Bifold is slim, compact, and fashionable. It’s an innovative take on the classic bifold design that would make your father and your grandfather proud.

Introducing the Parliament Wallet: Innovative, Simple and Convenient Man 

If you’re looking for another sleek, modern wallet design option, Ekster’s Parliament wallet is a perfect pick. The Parliament wallet is also equipped with RFID-blocking capabilities but updates the classic wallet design to prioritize convenience, minimalism, and accessibility. To avoid unsightly pocket bulge, the Parliament model is extremely thin and discrete. This means you’ll have all the carrying space you need without negatively affecting your look. 

Because many of you rarely use cash on a daily basis, the Parliament wallet is designed with easy access to cards as a priority. Instead of going through the old routine of fishing through your wallet for your ID or credit card, the Parliament’s card ejection system gives you quick access to each card by fanning them out in a staggered arrangement. This means no more time wasted fumbling around looking for the card you need.

In addition, if you’re prone to losing your wallet or want to reduce the impact if it’s stolen, you can add a solar-powered tracker card to your Parliament (or Modular) wallet, giving you extra peace of mind. Equipping your wallet with a tracker card gives you the ability to hone in on it and ping it if it’s missing nearby, or show you its location if you suspect it’s been lost while out and about.

The Senate Cardholder: For the Minimalist on the Move

When your goal is to minimize the bulk of your daily carry and bring only the essentials with you each day, Ekster’s Senate Cardholder is your new best friend. The Senate Cardholder gives you quick, easy, and stylish access to your cards and cash while taking up the minimum possible pocket space. Even in such a small package, Ekster has still made sure to outfit the Senate model with RFID-blocking capabilities to protect your data from skimmers. 

Carrying Lots of Cash? Get a Clip 

If you tend to mainly carry cash and you have no RFID-equipped credit or debit cards, a cash clip is a great option for you. A cash clip is the most compact and effective means of carrying bills in your pocket throughout the day. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s essential to have a surefire way to keep track of the elements in your daily carry, including cash. If you’re constantly misplacing your tips from work, finding loose bills in the dryer on laundry day, or constantly forgetting to bring cash when you need it, a money clip can make things much simpler.

There’s a RFID-Blocking Wallet for Every Man 

A man looking at his card wallet and his phone

Your choice of money-carrying mechanism will depend on your lifestyle, whether you regularly carry cash, and your aesthetic preferences. Luckily, Ekster has something for everyone, from the on-the-move professional with a handful of cards to carry on a daily basis to the most minimalistic of you, the ones with a single credit or debit card, an ID, and a few bills in their wallets. There’s RFID-blocking options for everybody, and protecting your information using an RFID-blocking wallet is a great move no matter what.

Sources:

>https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/15/more-americans-say-they-dont-carry-cash.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/15-signs-you-have-adult-adhd/9/

https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/5-reasons-a-man-should-still-carry-cash/

ABOUT EKSTER


Here at Ekster, we're in the business of making your life easier.

We started with upgrading the traditional leather wallet, making it easier to use and harder to lose. Now, we're taking on the rest of your essentials to make each day easier for you.

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