Busting myths on contactless payment
Contactless payment is becoming more and more common in shops and on public transport. You can now bypass your Oyster Card and pay for journeys on London buses directly using a contactless payment enabled credit or debit card. In fact, in December 2012 alone over 3.8 million transactions under £20 were paid for using Barclaycard’s contactless cards.
Those who aren’t familiar with contactless payment (now an automatic option on all Barclaycard credit and debit cards) often have some questions about the security and convenience of contactless technology. We’ve put together some answers to a few common questions to help you to start getting the most from contactless payment options:
What if I accidentally make a payment using my contactless card?
There are several measures in place that make it impossible to accidentally send a payment using a contactless payment card. A payment terminal only becomes “active” and able to accept payments when a sale has been entered into the terminal. In order to make the payment you then have to hold your card within a few centimetres of the reader and wait for the green light to show for the transaction to be completed. This means you cannot accidentally pay for something from a distance.
This also makes it impossible to accidentally pay for something twice – once your payment is complete the terminal will be inactive and unable to accept payments.
If my card gets stolen won’t the thief be able to make purchases without any ID?
Lots of people don’t realise that contactless payments are insured against fraud so if your card is stolen you are protected against any purchases which might be made fraudulently from your account. Additionally, because there is a transaction limit of £20 you don’t need to be worried about your account being maxed out in the short term.
If your card is stolen just call your bank’s helpline for lost and stolen cards as soon as possible and they will be able to prevent anyone else from using your card.
If contactless payments don’t require any ID, how secure is the service?
Although contactless payment doesn’t require a PIN number or signature, it uses exactly the same technology as chip and PIN to protect your details so it is just as secure in terms of data transfer.
Do many places actually accept contactless payments?
There are thousands of retailers offering the option of contactless payments and the number is increasing all the time. Keep a look out for the icon signifying contactless payment. Some examples of where you can use your contactless card as well as London buses and lots of other places include Starbucks, Café Nero, Domino’s Pizza, the Post Office, WH Smith, Asda, Tesco, Boots, The Co-op, Ikea and Thorntons.
Using contactless payment can really speed up transactions for you, and because your card is insured against fraud it’s actually more secure than carrying cash. So if you haven’t tried it yet now is the time to get involved.