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Magnetic tank bags & bank cards

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by azi, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Just wondering if anyone's had their credit cards wiped by putting their wallet on the bottom of a magnetic tank bag.

  2. unless you put your card directly on the magnet I wouldn't think there woud be a problem. I've been carrying digital SLR camera and mob phone (both with memory cards) without a problem so far.
  3. I have a couple of tank bag but use a small compact one the most. I haven't had a problem with my credit card although the magnets on the bag do unlock my mobile.
  4. Not sure .. My memory has been terrible lately. I keep telling the wife its the magnets in my tailbag. Funny thing... she had to think about it :LOL:
    Dont ya just love blondes :wink:
  5. There was a segment on the "mythbusters" TV show recently where they attempted to wipe credit card details, it turned out to be near-impossible with modern cards. I still put my wallet+phone in the lid pocket of the tankbag, not the base, though, and never had any problems that weren't attributable to crappy dirty shop eftpos machines.
  6. The stripe on a swipe card is magnetic. This contains vary basic information laid down in three stripes.

    The information is put on buy the issuer using a machine which modulates a magnetic field as the card is swiped through. The information remains because the magnetic particles retain their polarisation after being put through the imprinting machine. There is nothing magic or permanent about this. The card can be wiped and new information encoded by realigning the magnetic particles again.

    A tank bag magnet is reasonably powerful to be able to hold onto the tank at normal commuting speeds - say 80 -140km/h. Having a card in this field is ok, generally the card data will not change. The act of putting it an and taking it out, however can cause the particles to realign randomly, presenting garbage data and red faces at the swipe machine.

    Some of the newer cards use stronger magnetic stripes to try and avoid this problem.

    The memory in mobile phones, usb sticks, mobiles and the like is electronic (on a chip), not magnetic. A hard disk is magnetic, so putting a spare USB hard disk drive in a magnetic field is definitely not advisable
  7. When we first got our mobile phones, analog Nokia 100s, my wife had hers in her handbag, as women do. Anyway, she went to Coles, bought groceries. Went to pay. Card couldn't be read. Hmm. Another card was OK.

    Got a replacement card. Soon afterwards it too was unreadable. We put it down to the phone being in close proximity to the cards. So, whether it's a reasonable fear or not, I tend to keep my cards/wallet away from the phone, and definately from anything that emits EMR, which I have plenty of around at work.
  8. i need to find a tank bag with magnets that sets my credit balance back to zero :p