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English: A smartcard graphic, without banklogo...

A technology designed to make it easier to pay with your credit card may be putting you at risk of fraud and identity theft, security and privacy experts warn.

Many new credit and debit cards come with RFID chips that allow customers to tap the card to make a purchase. These chips, used in many retail outlets, are read by payment machines and are supposed to be a safe and convenient way to pay for goods.

Those RFID chips can also be read with a device millions carry with them every day — a smartphone.

Using a Samsung Galaxy SIII — one of the most popular smartphones — and a free app downloaded from the Google Play store, you can easily read information such as a card number, expiry date and cardholder name simply by holding the smartphone over a debit or credit card.

And it could be done through wallets, pockets and purses.