Contactless Payments: How Exactly Do They Work?

Brandon Ernst, Founder & CEO
Brandon Ernst, Founder & CEO
person paying using mobile phone

While contactless payments have been around since as early as 2007, their ease of use and tap-feature is more important today than ever before. It first started with credit cards having a chip that works by transferring data to a terminal that has a proper reader, removing the need for a swipe or a pin-input. Nowadays, technology has evolved significantly that even digital wallets and payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay require nothing more than your phone for transactions. 

Not only is this convenient, but 2020 has found this feature especially useful to avoid unnecessary contact with items that can transmit the COVID-19 virus. Thanks to the radio frequency identification technology, or also known as RFID, these signals can be picked up from a set range for ease of use. 

Contactless Payments

As mentioned above, contactless payments work through chips that have RFID technology to transmit radio waves to a reader. If you are using a credit card, make sure it has the chip for contactless transactions, such as Visa’s payWave and other similar markings on a credit card. When utilizing mobile device-specific payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, your phone must have what is called near-field communication (NFC) to transmit data. 

When paying for items, the POS system will usually display an option to tap your card or phone, which should be just as easy as holding it nearby the screen of the terminal. This technology is often not perfect either, meaning it can fail and require you to input your pin instead. 

How This RFID Technology Is Used

Contactless payments are usable with many devices, as it is slowly becoming a standard for all technologies. While the most common are credit cards and mobile devices; fitness trackers, watches, key fobs, and stickers are also now utilizing RFID technology. These cards are also often used to open doors and gates, as security passes, and other kinds of payment areas. 

Where Can This Be Used?

This technology is great because it is now being recognized by places all around the world. Contactless payment can be used at retail stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, and other automated services for ease of transaction. In some countries, these have even been integrated with public transportation to expedite the riding process. 

What Are The Advantages Of Using Contactless Payment Systems?

Using this system saves a significant amount of time and effort you would normally be using to punch in your pin number. Having your phone set up to be your wallet means carrying less cash and cards all the time while also saving you the trouble of fishing around your bag. 

Nowadays, COVID-19 is serious, and the fact that you can pay with your credit card or even Apple Pay and avoid touching money makes going out much safer. It is known that the virus can be spread through money due to its fabric material, so going down the route of cashless transactions using contactless payment will expedite everything. 

What Are The Risks Of Using Contactless Payment Systems?

The issue with contactless payments is that if someone else gets a hold of your card, or your wallet or phone is stolen, they can use it to make purchases without any need for a pin input. The fraud activity due to RFID technology is high, so be sure to report any missing cards as soon as possible and check your credit card statements on a regular basis. Report any suspicious and unrecognizable transactions to your bank whenever you see them. 

Conclusion

This technology has proven to be extremely effective and efficient not only for payments and transactions, but also for other aspects of business such as security and identification. Thanks to RFID technology, there have been many advancements towards the ease of business, but has also come with risks due to fraud and safety concerns. 

Creating an easier way for your business to accept payments has never been easier with Payment Page, wherein our WordPress plugin can create a hosted payment page with ease. Sign up for our services on our website to be at the forefront when we launch our products. 

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Brandon Ernst

Brandon Ernst

Brandon Ernst is the founder of Payment Page. He writes about eCommerce and other interesting topics in the WordPress space. You can follow his journey on Twitter.

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