Contactless payments, introduced in 2007, have become so popular that now one in three card payments is contactless. There are an estimated 112 million contactless cards issued in the UK.
What is a contactless payment?
Contactless payments are payments made by waving or tapping your contactless device – usually a card or smartphone – over a reader, which then accepts the payment.
Safe and secure.
Contactless Visa cards are as secure as any other Visa chip card. They carry the same multiple layers of security, which ensure that you are safe from fraudulent or unauthorised transactions.
Contactless Visa cards work when the card is within 4cm of the card reader and the contactless payment terminal can only process one transaction at a time. Because your contactless Visa cards doesn’t leave your hand during the transaction, you remain in control of your card at all times.
How does contactless work?
Contactless credit cards have a chip inside them that emits radio waves. An antenna is built into the plastic to secure the connection with a contactless reader. This is known as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
To pay for something with a contactless credit card, you hold the card near a payment terminal (known as an RFID reader) and it picks up the signal, communicates with the card and processes the payment.
The payment terminal will say if the payment was successful or not. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and you’ll need to use your pin instead.
Mobile phones and other electronic devices use something called near-field communication (NFC) to transmit data – which is based on the technology used in RFID.