The ability to pay via contactless payments is something that seems to have popped up everywhere recently but did you know, this nifty way to pay has actually been around since 2007? Once slow to take-off, it’s now more popular than ever with 71% agreeing that contactless payment is easier than Chip and PIN according to a recent WorldPay survey. So, if those little gems of information weren’t enough for you, here are some more facts you probably didn’t know about contactless payments.
How they work
If you can spot the contactless symbol on both your card and at the till, you will be able to make use of this form of payment. The four curved lines that resemble a ripple means that your card contains a small chip that has the ability to emit radio waves. As you hover your card over the card machine at the till, these radio waves are picked up and your payment is processed, without the need to enter your PIN.
But surely there must be problems? What if I tap my card on the reader twice by accident? Will it charge me twice? Is this type of payment secure if I’m not putting in my PIN?
Well, the machines that accept your contactless payment are programmed so that only one payment will be taken from one card for a single transaction. Plus, if you and a friend decide to pop out your cards at the same time in a battle to pay first, rest assured that no payment will be taken when two cards are present at the same time. In terms of safety, only a certain number of contactless payments can be made before your card issuer prompts you for a PIN. It’s only on amounts of £20 or less so no large payments can be made and data from the UK Cards Association revealed that fraud has not increased as a result of contactless payments becoming more popular.
It now works on the London Underground
It is now possible to pay for the London Underground via your contactless payment card. You’ll benefit from the same rates as using an Oyster card and you’ll also benefit from the daily cap. There are, however, a few things you need to watch out for. Make sure you use the same card to tap in and out or you run the risk of paying the maximum fare on both cards. Also, be careful of card clash, make sure any contactless cards you have, or even your Oyster card are separated as the reader won’t know which card to take the payment from and you might not be able to get through the gates.
Also, you may not know that cash is no longer accepted on London buses. Luckily, contactless payments are which is handy so you don’t get caught out whilst in the capital.
It’s not yet available everywhere
Save yourself the embarrassment of repeatedly tapping your card at the card machine whilst you wait for your payment to be acknowledged only to realise that that particular shop doesn’t accept contactless payments. Remember check for the contactless symbol or better yet, check out the full list of participating retailers here so you’re not left with a shop assistant and a queue full of people glaring at you.
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