Money Analysed

Going Contactless: The Essential Guide to Safe and Secure Payments

Introduction to Contactless Credit Cards

In recent times, the world has seen a tremendous increase in the usage of contactless credit cards. These credit cards are designed to make the payment process faster, safer, and more secure for both customers and merchants.

Simply put, contactless cards enable users to make payments by waving or tapping their cards over a point-of-sale device that is equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology. NFC performs communication between the card and the point-of-sale (POS) device, allowing the transfer of payment information.

Contactless payment is rapidly becoming popular globally due to its convenience, speed, safety, and security, replacing the traditional methods of payment like cash and cheques. In this article, we will explore how contactless credit cards work, their advantages, and the best contactless credit card options available in the market.

How Contactless Credit Card Payments Work

Contactless credit card payments apply radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and Near Field Communication (NFC) to communicate between the POS device and the card. Once the contactless credit card gets close to the payment terminal, the system checks for compatibility.

If it is, the payment will be made, which will take only a few seconds to complete the whole process. Contactless credit cards come in two primary formats, namely, EMV and magnetic stripe.

The former contains a small embedded chip that encrypts data, making it difficult for fraudsters to intercept the information. The chip is activated by coming in contact with the payment terminal to start the payment process.

The magnetic stripe types, on the other hand, store card data on a magnetic strip, and once the card comes in close proximity with the machine, the data is transferred.

Advantages of Contactless Credit Cards

1. Safer

Contactless credit cards are safer because of the continuous evolution of fraud prevention methods.

The encryption in the EMV chip makes it hard for hackers to get the user’s personal and card information. Additionally, customers do not need to physically transfer or exchange money with others, reducing the risk posed by contamination of pathogens.

2. Faster

For customers, one of the greatest advantages of contactless credit cards is the ability to make fast transactions.

They eliminate the need for entering a PIN or signature verification, reducing the transaction time dramatically. The fact that you simply have to hold your card near the POS device and the payment gets processed almost instantaneously is a valuable time-saver.

3. More Secure

Contactless credit cards offer an increased level of security, losing your physical cards or cash can be disastrous in the event of theft or misplacement.

However, contactless credit cards are locked; hence, even if anyone obtains the physical card, they would be unable to use it for payment without the unique encryption key.

Best Contactless Credit Cards

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is best for travelers and customers who want to earn reward points.

Its broad reward options offer tremendous value for anyone who travels often. The cardholder can receive a 60,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the card.

The card offers double points on all travel and dining purchases.

2.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

This credit card is best suited for frequent travelers who fly via Southwest Airlines. It offers significant benefits such as four upgraded boardings during the year, an annual 7,500 anniversary bonus points offer, and a $75 annual travel credit.

The cardholder automatically earns 45,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases during the first three months of being a cardholder. 3.

American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card offers notable rewards and cashback on restaurant and grocery purchases. It has an annual fee of $250, but it is also one of the most rewarding contactless credit cards available.

It offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points to new cardholders who spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months. Furthermore, the card provides 4x points on both restaurant and grocery purchases.

4. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is the best for travelers.

It provides benefits such as free Global Entry and access to thousands of airport lounges worldwide. For each dollar spent using the card, cardholders earn two miles that do not expire.

New members get 60,000 bonus miles when they spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. 5.

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash credit card is unmatched when customers desire to earn unlimited cashback with no annual fee. Cardholders earn 2% cashback on all purchases, with no restrictions.

The card also has a unique feature where customers earn an additional 1% cashback on each transaction made. 6.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is best designed for business owners. It offers a $200 cash reward after spending $1,000 on purchases for the first three months.

Coupled with its unlimited cashback rewards, this credit card ensures to keep its customers satisfied, and they will never have to worry about limitations or restrictions with rewards. 7.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Best designed for small business owners, this credit card offers business rewards and extensive travel benefits. With its sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the card, users get rewarded handsomely.

Cardholders also receive triple points per dollar spent, extensive travel benefits, and cell phone protection coverage. 8.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

An Unlimited Cash Back credit card for business owners, this card earns unlimited cashback at a flat rate of 1.5% per dollar spent, without restrictions or caps. It provides a generous sign-up bonus of $750 cash rewards after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months of opening the card.

Conclusion

Contactless credit cards offer several advantages and have transformed the payment industry significantly. As the technology evolves, we can expect to see more cutting-edge features in contactless credit cards.

With all the benefits and rewards mentioned above, it behooves customers to make an informed decision by selecting any of the contactless credit cards mentioned above.

How to Know if Your Card is Contactless

Contactless cards have become increasingly popular, and almost all credit card issuers are providing new contactless-enabled cards to their users. The process of obtaining a new contactless credit card can be as simple as contacting your bank or checking for the contactless symbol on your current card.

Below are ways to know if your credit or debit card is contactless-enabled.

Checking for the Contactless Indicator

One of the easiest ways to check if your payment card has contactless capability is by looking for the contactless symbol on the card. Typically, this symbol looks like four curved lines that come together to form something of a WiFi symbol.

If you have a new card that was recently issued, it probably has this symbol on it, which is an indication that it is contactless-enabled.

The symbol can be found on either the front or back of the card, depending on the issuer.

If you can’t find the symbol on your card, try contacting your card issuer to ask if it is a contactless card.

Contacting Your Credit Card Issuer for a New Card

In some cases, your current credit or debit card may not be contactless-enabled, meaning it cannot be used for contactless payments. The good news is that most card issuers now offer contactless-enabled cards.

So, if you don’t have a contactless card, you can contact your bank to ask for a new one. Many banks are rolling out contactless cards to users, so chances are you will get one.

It is worth noting that not all credit or debit card issuers have transitioned to contactless cards, so if your bank doesn’t offer this option, you may have to wait until they do.

Ensuring Contactless-Enabled Payment Machines

While you may have a contactless card, not all payment machines support contactless payments. To make sure you can make contactless payments, you can look for the contactless symbol on the payment terminal.

If the terminal has a contactless symbol on it, you can use your contactless card, regardless of whether it has the chip or the magnetic stripe. The EMV chip is incorporated into contactless credit cards to add another layer of security while making payment with the card, thereby ensuring that your information is safe and secure.

Contactless payments also have the added advantage of preventing fraud that may occur as a result of card skimming as found with magnetic stripe cards.

Other Forms of Contactless Payment

In addition to contactless credit and debit cards, there are other forms of contactless payment available, like mobile payments. Mobile payments, in essence, digitize your credit or debit card details and enable you to pay using your smartphone.

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and other digital wallets are top mobile payment platforms for contactless payments. To use these mobile payment options, you must first set up an account with the platform on your device.

You can link your credit or debit card to the digital wallet by entering the card details manually or using your device’s camera to scan the card’s details.

How to Use Digital Wallets for Contactless Payments

Once you have linked your credit or debit card to the digital wallet, you can use the wallet for contactless payments. To use digital wallets, follow these simple steps:

1.

Load Credit Cards onto the Digital Wallet

The first step in utilizing digital wallets is to load your credit or debit card into the wallet. To load a card to the mobile payment platform, select the “+” symbol in the app and follow the prompts.

Once the card is added, you can use it for contactless payments. 2.

Choose Your Card

When you are ready to make a payment using your mobile payment platform, select the card you want to use from your list of cards.

3.

Hold Your Device Near the Contactless-Enabled Payment Machine

With your selected card, hold your device near the payment machine’s contactless point, found at the bottom part of the machine. Keep your phone steady and close to the contactless-enabled symbol until payment is confirmed.

Conclusion

Contactless payment has come to stay. With the fast-paced nature of everyday life, traditional payment methods may no longer be efficient for users.

Contactless payment is more secure, convenient, and easy to use, especially with the integration of modern technology such as the EMV chip and digital wallets. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to jump on the contactless payment bandwagon by getting a new contactless card or setting up a digital wallet account.

Importance of Contactless Payments

Contactless payment has rapidly gained popularity in recent times, but many are unaware of its benefits beyond convenience. Today, contactless payment is no longer just a trend but has become a necessity, especially during COVID-19 since it offers more secure and safe payment options in this healthcare crisis.

In this article, we will explore the important aspects of contactless payment and the benefits they offer.

Reducing Cross-Contamination During COVID-19

One of the critical benefits of contactless payments is that they can help to reduce the spread of the virus. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant health crisis and reshaped people’s daily routines, including changing the way we make payments.

Before the pandemic, cash and card payment methods involved direct physical contact, which creates a high level of risk for transmission. The increased adoption of contactless payments helps reduce cross-contamination by providing an alternative payment option.

Contactless payments rely on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, enabling payments to be made without the need for a customer to hand over a card or touch a PIN pad. This eliminates the need for customers to handle cash or cards, decreasing their exposure to potential infection sources.

Increased Efficiency and Convenience

In addition to safety, contactless payments offer high efficiency and convenience, making them a favorable payment choice. With contactless payments, transactions can be completed in record time.

According to reports, contactless payments can reduce transaction times by up to 15-20 seconds, which may seem insignificant. However, for businesses, this time reduction can translate to the ability to serve more people in a shorter period, leading to increased revenue.

Contactless payments also offer a faster checkout experience, as the customer can waive their contactless card or smartphone over the payment terminal to confirm payment. This speeds up the payment process, reducing time spent in queues.

Most contactless payment systems also allow for payment of higher amounts without the need for a PIN verification, adding more convenience to contactless payments.

Security

Lastly, contactless payments increase security during transactions. Contactless payments have built-in safety mechanisms that make them more secure than traditional payment methods.

Chip cards include enhanced encryption technology, making it tougher for fraudsters to steal card data, as the chips form a unique code for every transaction and depend on a unique encryption key known only to the card user. Additionally, contactless payments come with more sophisticated fraud-prevention features, such as tokenization.

Tokenization involves creating an encrypted “token” (a unique ID) for each transaction, so the payment details are never accessible to the merchant or intermediary to prevent compromise.

Conclusion

In conclusion, contactless payments have significantly revolutionized the payment industry, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have brought about increased security and safety during transactions, allowing customers to carry out payment transactions without the need for close contact with the payment terminal or personnel.

They also offer quicker, more efficient transactions, which improve customer service and revenue for businesses. With these benefits, contactless payments are the future of payment, and it is essential to adopt them to improve our safety, security and make payment transactions more efficient.

In summary, contactless payments have become a necessity in our daily lives and offer a crucial way to reduce cross-contamination in today’s healthcare crisis. Beyond safety, they improve efficiency and convenience and offer a greater level of security against fraud and theft.

Contactless payments are the future of payment, and it is essential to adopt them to improve safety, security, and make payment transactions more efficient. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of contactless payment, and it is now clear that they offer more than just convenience.

By continuing to adopt this payment method, we can make payment transactions, safer, faster, and more secure.

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