are they the future of in-store transactions?

The way people spend and access their money has changed dramatically over the decades, and individuals have learned to use everything from minted coins and precious metals to fiat currencies. The next revolution was the credit card, which enabled faster and more convenient payments, but now you are witnessing a total change in transactions: contactless credit cards. If until now you had to insert a chip or swipe a card, today’s technological advancements put you in front of a fast transaction process where even a card is not needed in your wallet.

But as payment technology evolves, a myriad of questions arise: Is contactless payment secure? How it works? Well, we’ll answer all your questions in the following.

Image source: provided by myPOS

What is contactless payment?

As the name also suggests, contactless payments involve a form of contactless payment using a credit or debit card and a POS (point of sale) system equipped with the appropriate technology. The transaction process is possible thanks to the RFID (radio frequency identification) used by these contactless equipped cards. Contactless payments can also use Near Field Communication (NFC), which means the transaction can only be completed from a distance of about two to four inches. Therefore, retailers make sure people are ready to make payment. When used by the average customer, contactless payment is incredibly simple: as long as sellers provide customers with a contactless card reader, they can pay for different goods or services with their contactless card or mobile phone. in a few seconds. .

This method is now the option of a number of people around the world, as it is a viable alternative to punching or swiping a card through a card terminal. It’s even possible to pay with your watch’s mobile wallet, so if you forget your phone and need to make a transaction, you don’t have to cancel it. With POS solutions these days, you don’t even have to worry about the possibility of being charged twice. We all know it’s a common mistake to tap the terminal twice, but a single unique ID or token enables a single transaction. Plus, you’ll know when your money will be deducted from your account, as a soft sound usually confirms the transaction has been completed, so there’s no room for error when it comes to contactless payments.

Before delving deeper into the topic of contactless cards, we would like to point out that these payments are usually for in-person or in-store purchases. From the start, we wanted to make it clear that this payment method should not be confused with others involving online transactions.

Contactless credit cards

In terms of contactless payment, everything revolves around contactless cards since they are the most used contactless payment methods. You may also encounter them under Tap to Go or Tap to Pay, as completing a transaction usually requires tapping the card on a terminal. The process is, in essence, as simple as it sounds, but the underlying technology is extremely complex. Tap to Pay cards allow wireless communication with the reader using short-range electromagnetic waves that include your credit card data. This way, the information is captured by the POS system and processed to complete the transaction. Technology has reached such an advanced level that you can easily accept card payments on your phone up to ten times faster than other payment methods. These cards often come with a chip or magnetic stripe, which allows you to insert rather than swipe. Beware though, this chip is not the same as a contactless card as it is designed for more traditional forms of payment or situations where the contactless card reader at a particular store is not functional.

You should recognize a contactless credit card by the four curved lines (wave-shaped) symbol, which indicates that it can be used to make contactless purchases. To be sure, you can contact your card issuer, who will provide you with all the necessary information and provide you with a contactless card in case you do not have one. The most popular networks (Mastercard, American Express and Visa) issue Tap to Pay cards, so applying for a contactless credit card shouldn’t be difficult.

How secure is contactless payment?

Contactless payment has become almost standard, especially since the Covid-19 epidemic. In times of pandemic, more and more individuals are turning to this method of payment, which is considered more accessible and safer. Some of the larger contactless card issuers are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Wells Fargo. So, as you can see, this payment method has been successfully adopted in Europe and the United States, which is encouraging. Contactless options are indeed much more convenient than traditional ones, but are they more secure? The answer is yes. Since it uses state-of-the-art technology and cryptographic security, contactless payment is considered one of the most secure forms of payment. It also gives thousands of people around the world peace of mind about their financial information. This critical data is indeed communicated from the card to the reader, but it is encrypted so that no one can ever access it. In other words, it’s a remarkably secure system that offers solutions for everyone. As different as people’s needs are (and that’s normal), contactless payment gives them the certainty that their transactions are secure. The one-time code also ensures that no transactions are compromised. This unique combination of numbers accompanies every transaction, so you should review this code first before completing a purchase. For someone who got your payment details, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to complete a transaction, as it means they have to crack the complicated algorithm behind that code.

Contactless payments have revolutionized the world of payments with their advanced technology. It seems that more and more people prefer this method of payment to the traditional ones, and if we look at the various advantages of contactless options, we can only approve of their choices.

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