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photo of someone making a contactless payment

What is a contactless payment?

Since 2007, contactless payment has revolutionised the way of making a card payment. Because of its popularity, there has been no sign of abating. 69% of the UK’s population has made a contactless payment in the past, and £4.3 billion has been spent monthly with this technology. But what is contactless payment, how safe is it, and how does it work?

Contactless payment is a payment made using a debit card, credit card, mobile or wearable devices. They are for transactions of £30 and under, made by touching the device to a terminal.

Contactless payment is a bit technical; it uses radio frequency identification technology. When you tap your card to any terminal, the information on your card will be transmitted to the terminal and on to the bank payment card provider.

For the transaction to be successful, the card should be a few centimetres away from the terminal. The process involves multiple layers of security that are embedded in the card to avoid fraud, and a pin is required for the security check.

Is the card safe?

The card is safe. It is of the same level of security as your chip. With it, no one can access your information because for the card to work, it has to be close to the terminal, and the transferred data in a contactless transaction is the same as the one on the front of your card. To date, in the UK there has not been any record of fraud when the card is with the holder.

Issues of fraud can only happen if you lose your card or maybe the card is stolen. When this happens, it will be best for you to report it as stolen or lost immediately. If not, someone else can make a contactless transaction with it and each transaction is capped at £30. Your bank may monitor your account for any strange or suspicious activity which could indicate fraud.

Transactions with contactless payment are safe. Restaurants or retailers need to have a retail account so that their transactions can be processed through the card system. There are thorough security checks involved on newer accounts to avoid fraud.

Is contactless the future?

The way the contactless card payment is adopted lately is proof that it is the future. The system is moving the UK closer to a cashless society because of its simplicity. From what we can see, contactless might lead to increased mobile payment and no physical cards because everything is stored on your phone or device. For now, the card comes with a little contactless symbol which makes it easy for you to use.

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