Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
  • Contactless Credit Cards: All You Need to Know

    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.

    What Is a Contactless Credit Card?

    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.

    How Does a Contactless Credit Card Work?

    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.

    Are Contactless Credit Cards Safe?

    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.

    Myth 1: A thief can make transactions with your card, without it leaving your pocket and without your knowledge.

    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.

    Myth 2: All your information is transmitted to the merchant when you use a contactless mode of payment.

    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.

    Myth 3: A person may mistakenly be charged for a purchase even if they just walk past a contactless terminal.

    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.

    Myth 4: You can be charged twice for the same transaction without your knowledge.

    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.

    How to Use Contactless Credit Cards

    As mentioned earlier, using a contactless credit card is extremely simple. There are three steps that you need to follow:

    • Look for the contactless payment symbol at checkout.
    • Tap your card on the machine (in most cases, you don’t even have to hand your card over to the merchant. As such, you end up having complete control over your card).
    • Once the machine beeps or a green light is seen, it means that your transaction has been successful and you can go on with the rest of your day.
    • If your transaction amount is greater than Rs.2,000, you will need to provide your PIN for the transaction to go through.

    Note: According to the RBI, transactions below Rs.2,000 do not require you to provide your PIN.

    Best Contactless Credit Cards

    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:

    HDFC Regalia First/Regalia Credit Card:

    • Joining Fee: Rs.1,000
    • Renewal Fee: Rs.1,000

    Key Highlights:

    • Get 7,500 reward points when your expenses reach Rs.6 lakh in one year
    • Earn 5,000 reward points when you spend over Rs.3 lakh in a year with HDFC Regalia First Credit Card
    • Get 1% surcharge waiver on your fuel transactions (Transactions between Rs.400 and Rs.5,000)
    • When you spend Rs.1 lakh within the first 12 months, you will get a waiver on the next year’s renewal fee
    • Get 3 free visits to lounges outside the country within one calendar year

    SBI Signature Contactless Card:

    • Joining Fee: Rs.4,999
    • Renewal Fee: Rs.4,999

    Key Highlights:

    • Get 10,000 bonus points when you spend Rs.3 lakh and more in one year using the SBI Signature Contactless Card.
    • Receive 10,000 bonus points when your expenses hit Rs.2 lakh and more every year
    • 30% discount on green fee at over 300 golf clubs in the world
    • Rs.500 discount every month when you book tickets through BookMyShow
    • Access to over 600 airport lounges in the world
    • Hire a car from Hertz Car Rental Program and save up to 10%

    ICICI Bank Coral Contactless Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Rs.500
    • Renewal Fee: Rs.500

    Key Highlights:

    • 1 free railway lounge visit within a quarter
    • 1 free domestic airport lounge visit in a quarter
    • Up to 2.5% cashback and a 1% waiver of surcharge when you spend Rs.4,000 at HPCL petrol bunks using this ICICI Bank Coral Contactless Credit Card.
    • 15% discount on your dining expenses

    Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Rs.999
    • Renewal Fee: Rs.999

    Key Highlights:

    • 4X reward points every time you spend Rs.150 on travel, dining, international expenses and air tickets.
    • 2 BookMyShow vouchers when you swipe the Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card for the first time
    • 2X rewards when you spend Rs.150 in other categories

    Citi Cash Back Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: NIL
    • Renewal Fee: NIL

    Key Highlights:

    • 5% cashback when you pay utility bills using the Citi Cash Back Credit Card.
    • 5% of cashback on all your movie ticket expenses
    • 0.5% cashback on other expenses
    • No expiration date for your unredeemed cashback points

    IndusInd Bank Signature Legend Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Rs.5,000
    • Renewal Fee: NIL

    Key Highlights:

    • Receive 2 reward points every time your expenses touch Rs.100 on weekends
    • Get 1 reward point every time you spend Rs.100 spent on weekdays
    • Get 4,000 bonus reward points when you spend Rs.6 lakh and more within a year of your IndusInd Bank Signature Legend Credit Card being issued
    • Get a 1% waiver on your fuel expenses

    YES FIRST Preferred Credit Card

    • First Year Membership Fee: Rs.2,499 plus applicable taxes
    • Renewal Membership Fee: Rs.2,499 plus applicable taxes

    Key Highlights:

    • With YES FIRST Preferred Credit Card get 10,000 welcome reward points on making your first transaction within 90 days of the issuance of the card.
    • Get 7,500 reward points on every annual renewal of membership.
    • Get 20,000 bonus reward points on spending Rs.7.5 lakh or more in every anniversary year.
    • Generous reward point structure for day to day spends.
    • Enjoy the benefits of MasterCard World Golf Programme with the card.
    • Enjoy the benefits of Preferred Reward Points Redemption.
    • Enjoy the benefits of complimentary Priority Pass Membership and MasterCard Lounge Program.
    • Avail a life insurance cover of Rs.1 crore for air accidental death.
    • Medical insurance cover of Rs.25 lakh for emergency hospitalisation when travelling abroad.

    YES Prosperity Reward Plus Credit Card

    • First Year Membership Fee: Rs.499
    • Renewal Membership Fee: Rs.499

    Key Highlights:

    • Get 12,000 bonus reward points on spending Rs.7.5 lakh or more in every anniversary year with YES Prosperity Reward Plus Credit Card.
    • Accelerated reward point structure for day to day spends.
    • Earn 4 reward points for every Rs.200 spent on all other categories except for ‘Select Categories’.
    • Earn 2 reward points for every Rs.200 on ‘Select Categories’.
    • Earn 500 reward points on successful registration of YES PayNow.
    • Redeem reward points on products from an exclusive catalogue or against Air Miles.
    • Lucrative interest rate of 36% p.a. to 42% p.a. on revolving credit, cash advances, and overdue amount.
    • Enjoy a preferential foreign currency markup of 3.40%.
    • Enjoy the benefit of Credit Shield cover in case of accidental death of the primary cardholder.

    IndusInd Bank Platinum Aura Edge MasterCard Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Nil
    • Annual Fee: Nil

    Key Highlights:

    • You can earn up to 4 reward points on select spends using IndusInd Bank Platinum Aura Edge MasterCard Credit Card.
    • Enjoy the benefits of complimentary Priority Pass programme with access to more than 600 VIP airport lounges across the globe.
    • Avail the benefits of Travel Plus Program and Travel Insurance Cover with the Platinum Aura Edge Credit Card.
    • Avail the credit card in either VISA or MasterCard platform.
    • Enjoy Platinum Aura Edge Concierge benefits.
    • Save up to Rs.2,400 on fuel surcharge.

    IndusInd Bank Legend Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Rs.5,000
    • Annual Fee: Nil

    Key Highlights:

    • With IndusInd Bank Legend Credit Card earn 1 reward point for every Rs.100 spent on the card on weekdays.
    • Earn 2 reward point for every Rs.100 spent on the card on weekends.
    • Earn 4,000 bonus reward points on spending Rs.6 lakh or more within a year of issuance of the credit card.
    • Avail the benefits of Legend Golf, Legend Life, and Legend Travel with the Legend Credit Card.
    • Avail the credit card in either VISA or MasterCard platform and enjoy exclusive network offers such as VISA Lounge Access Program, MasterCard Lounge Access, and VISA Signature Blockbuster Weekend Offer.
    • Enjoy Legend Concierge benefits.
    • Save up to Rs.2,400 on fuel surcharge.
    • Welcome benefits from Vouchagram.
    • Comprehensive and complimentary golf program.
    • Buy one and get one offer on movie ticket bookings from BookMyShow.
    • Extensive travel benefits of travel insurance, Priority Pass Program, and Travel Plus Programme.

    IndusInd Bank Pioneer Legacy Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Rs.45,000
    • Annual Fee: Nil

    Key Highlights:

    • With IndusInd Bank Pioneer Legacy Credit Card earn 1 reward point for every Rs.100 spent on the card on weekdays.
    • Earn 2 reward point for every Rs.100 spent on the card on weekends.
    • Earn 6,000 bonus reward points on spending Rs.6 lakh or more within a year of issuance of the credit card.
    • Avail the benefits of Pioneer Legacy Golf, Pioneer Legacy Life, Pioneer Legacy Auto Assist, Pioneer Legacy Assurance, and Pioneer Legacy Travel with the Pioneer Legacy Credit Card
    • Avail the credit card in either VISA or MasterCard platform and enjoy exclusive network offers such as VISA Lounge Access Program, MasterCard Lounge Access, and VISA Signature Blockbuster Weekend Offer.
    • Enjoy Pioneer Legacy Concierge benefits.
    • Save up to Rs.2,400 on fuel surcharge.
    • Welcome benefits from Oberoi Hotels and Luxe Gift Card.
    • Comprehensive and complimentary golf program.
    • Buy one and get one offer on movie ticket bookings from BookMyShow and Sathyam Cinemas (for Chennai only).

    IndusInd Bank Pioneer Heritage Credit Card

    • Joining Fee: Rs.90,000
    • Annual Fee: Rs.25,000

    Key Highlights:

    • Earn 1 reward point for every Rs.100 spent on the IndusInd Bank Pioneer Heritage Credit Card on all domestic spends.
    • Earn 2.5 reward point for every Rs.100 spent on the card on all international spends.
    • Avail the benefits of Pioneer Heritage Golf, Pioneer Heritage Life, Pioneer Heritage Auto Assist, Pioneer Heritage Assurance, and Pioneer Heritage Travel with the Pioneer Heritage Credit Card.
    • Avail the credit card under the MasterCard platform and enjoy exclusive network offers such as Oberoi.
    • Enjoy Pioneer Heritage Concierge benefits.
    • Welcome benefits from Oberoi Hotels and Luxe Gift Card.
    • Comprehensive and complimentary golf program powered by MasterCard.
    • Buy one and get one offer on movie ticket bookings from BookMyShow.

    FABINDIA SBI Card SELECT Credit Card

    • Annual Fee: Rs.1,499
    • Renewal Fee: Rs.1,499 (reversed on spending Rs.2 lakh or more in a year)

    Key Highlights:

    • Get direct access to the Platinum Tier FabFamily Membership with the FABINDIA SBI Card SELECT Credit Card.
    • Get welcome gift vouchers from Fabindia worth Rs.1,500.
    • Earn 10 reward points for every Rs.100 spent at Fabindia Stores.
    • Earn 3 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on dining, entertainment, and movies.
    • Earn 2 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on international transactions.
    • Enjoy the benefits of complimentary domestic airport lounge access with the Priority Pass Membership Programme.
    • Spend Rs.2 lakh every quarter on the credit card and earn gift vouchers worth Rs.1,250 from popular brands.
    • Enjoy fuel surcharge of 1% across all petrol pumps across the country.
    • Easy and attractive reward redemption programme.

    FABINDIA SBI Card Credit Card

    • Annual Fee: Rs.499
    • Renewal Fee: Rs.499 (reversed on spending Rs.1 lakh or more in a year)

    Key Highlights:

    • Get direct access to the Gold Tier FabFamily Membership with the FABINDIA SBI Card SELECT Credit Card.
    • Get welcome gift vouchers from Fabindia worth Rs.500.
    • Earn 5 reward points for every Rs.100 spent at Fabindia Stores.
    • Earn 2 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on dining, entertainment, and movies.
    • Earn 1 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on international transactions.
    • Enjoy fuel surcharge of 1% across all petrol pumps across the country.
    • Easy and attractive reward redemption programme.

    Benefits of Using Contactless Cards

    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):

    1. No credit card skimming:
    2. Credit 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.

    3. Additional layers of security:
    4. 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.

    5. Protection from fraud:
    6. 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.

    7. Shortens your wait time:
    8. 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.

    FAQs on Contactless Credit Cards

    1. Why should I use contactless?

      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.

    2. Where can I use the Contactless Credit Cards?

      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.

    3. In case the card is waved twice at the POS Machine, will I be charged twice?

      No, even if the card is waved twice, you will be charged only once.

    4. How are the purchases shown in the monthly statement in the case of contactless cards?

      Any purchases that are made using the contactless mode will be shown the same way as those made using a regular card.

    5. How will I know if my transaction has been successful?

      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.

    6. How far away from the contactless machine should my card be held?

      You should hold your card within a distance of 4 centimetres.

    7. Where can I make contactless payments?

      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.

    8. Is the Rs.2,000 transaction limit valid all over the world?

      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.

    9. How do I pay with Mastercard contactless or Visa PayWave?

      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.

    10. What if my contactless credit card is lost or stolen?

      In case the Contactless Credit Card, you must block the card. The card can be blocked by using one of the below-mentioned channels:

      • By visiting the bank
      • Calling customer care
      • Using the mobile app of the bank
      • Internet banking
      

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