Contactless Payments

What are contactless payments?

Contactless is a phrase typically used to describe transactions carried out on modern credit and debit cards by touching the card to the card reader, without the need for the customer to enter a PIN. The concept also applies to the use of smartphones and other smart devices for payment such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Along with being programmed to take one payment from one card for any transaction, card readers are designed to reject payment if more than one card is presented at the same time.


Q: Are Contactless Card Payments Safe?

A: Due to the absence of PIN or signature verification, contactless purchases are typically limited to low value transactions. Despite this, contactless card payments are often interpreted as an easy target for fraudulent activity.

To minimise the potential risk, contactless payments can only be used for transactions totalling £30 or less within UK although the limit may differ overseas. If you wish to spend more than this a Chip and PIN payment will be required.

Q: How do contactless cards work?

The secure payments are typically made via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or Near Field Communication (NFC).

In contrast to mobile payments which can be made across a broad area, contactless card payments must be made in close physical proximity. The cashier needs to activate the terminal (the customer should be able to do this themselves at a self-service till) to reduce the risk of errors.

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