You have heard of swiping your credit card (when the magnetic stripe is passed through a card reader), you have heard of dipping your credit card (where the chip is inserted into the card reader), now get ready to tap your credit card.
That’s right. Thanks to contactless credit cards, you can ow just tap your card to a point of sale machine, and the transaction is complete.
If your credit card has a symbol on it that looks like the ‘wifi’ symbol, then you own a contactless credit card.
These cards help you make payments without having to physically swipe or dip the card. All you have to do is tap the card against the card reader (the card reader also needs to be enabled for contactless payments), and the transaction is complete.
It provides convenience and prevents you from having to stand in long queues to make a payment.
Contactless cards use a technology called bear filed communication (NFC). NFC uses magnetic field induction to enable communication between NFC devices when they are brought together or within a few centimetres of each other.
Moreover, each card comes with a contactless chip and an antenna known as the radio frequency (RFID) antenna. So, when you wave your card over a contactless terminal, the radio frequency (along with a one-time code) help you complete your purchase.
Additionally, since you don’t have to enter your PIN for transactions below Rs.2,000, this form of payment is usually completed within a few seconds.
The question that now arises is with regards to the safety of contactless cards. If you don’t have to swipe or dip your card, what are the chances that you walk past a contactless card reader and it (without your knowledge) deducts money from your credit card?
The answer to this question is simple. This won’t happen. It won’t happen because of the different layers of security that go into a contactless card.
In order to better understand how safe contactless cards are, let’s take a look at some of the common myths and the actual truth.
Truth: For a contactless transaction to take place, the credit card and the reader need to be at least two inches away. So, the chances of this happening are extremely slim. Moreover, if you do find that you have been wrongly charged, you can always raise it with your card issuer. This way you will not be held liable for the transaction.
Truth: This is actually far from the truth. When you make a contactless payment with your credit card, information such as your name, your billing information, or your CVV are never transmitted to the merchant. Instead, only your account information along with a one-time password or code is sent from the card to the reader.
Truth: Unless the contactless machine has been tampered with, it is highly unlikely that you will be charged just by walking past a machine. Moreover, you can place your card in wallets or cases that provide contactless protection for additional safety.
Truth: This cannot happen since each contactless transaction requires you to tap your card or be within a few centimetres of the card reader. In addition to this, a one-time code is transferred from the card to the reader for each transaction. Moreover, contactless point of sale (PoS) readers allow only one transaction at a time.
So, it’s quite clear that most fears that surround contactless credit cards are unfounded and they are safe to use.
As mentioned earlier, using a contactless credit card is extremely simple. There are three steps that you need to follow:
Note: According to the RBI, transactions below Rs.2,000 do not require you to provide your PIN.
At present, there are over 20 million contactless credit cards in circulation in India and the numbers are expected to grow. So, how do you decide which contactless credit card you should go for? While contactless payments work the same way on all credit cards, here are cards that offer contactless payments along with other features that you can consider:
Now, that you know quite a bit about contactless cards, here are some of the other benefits of these cards to help convince you to apply for one (if you aren’t already convinced):
Card skimming is the easiest way for fraudsters to get your card details. Your card information is usually taken by these fraudsters when they take your card to swipe it or dip it in the card reader. This is entirely minimised with contactless cards since it doesn’t leave your hand.
As mentioned earlier, contactless payments are quite safe. Moreover, even if your card is tapped or waved multiple times, the security measures in place ensure that there are only a minimum number of transactions that can be made before you will be required to enter your PIN.
If a fraudulent transaction is made using your card, you don’t have to worry since you will not be liable for those transactions. Almost all banks provide you with 100% liability cover.
With a contactless credit card, you don’t have to spend time at checkout waiting for the merchant to swipe or dip your card, enter the amount, request you to enter the PIN, and then approve the transaction. All you have to do is tap the card to the reader, wait for it to beep or turn green, and you are good to go.
Contactless as a form of payment is generally more secure since you don’t have to hand the card over to another person. Moreover, it helps you save time.
You can use the Contactless cards at any place that has a POS Machine. The card can be used to tap and pay. Any POS Machine that comes with a contactless symbol has been enabled for contactless payments.
No, even if the card is waved twice, you will be charged only once.
Any purchases that are made using the contactless mode will be shown the same way as those made using a regular card.
You will receive an SMS/email to your registered mobile number/email ID and will also get a charge slip if the transaction has been successful.
You should hold your card within a distance of 4 centimetres.
You can make a contactless payment at any terminal or point of sale machine where the contactless symbol (wifi symbol) appears. At all other terminals, you will have to either swipe or dip your card and enter your PIN to complete your transaction.
No, the Rs.2,000 transaction limit is not valid all over the world. The limit depends on the country where the transaction has been made. The Rs.2,000 limit is valid across India.
To make a payment with Mastercard contactless or Visa PayWave, you need to just tap your card against a contactless-enabled terminal. When payment is successful the terminal beeps or a green light appears.
In case the Contactless Credit Card, you must block the card. The card can be blocked by using one of the below-mentioned channels:
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