Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Contactless Payments. Are They The Future?

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Contactless Payments. Are They The Future?*

What happened to cash? I rarely pay for anything with cash, maybe a taxi fare or a small cost item but the most use my cash has is to be the key to unlock a supermarket trolley. I carry a purse full of cards. Credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, my bus pass and subscription cards that gain me entrance to attractions. I never even had a credit card until I went on holiday to Florida many years ago. In America you just can't buy or do anything without one.


Have you ever wondered why your card has the numbers embossed and not just printed on? Before card readers there was a paper system, probably still used in some places. The card was put onto a machine and covered with a receipt that had two pages and carbon in between. The salesperson would pull the top of the machine over the card making a perfect copy, just like brass rubbing! Then you would sign it. They would check your signature against the one on the card and separate the pieces of paper. One piece for you, one for them. It seemed like a safe and easy way to pay even if you did end up with lots of receipts you could at least keep an eye on what you spent.

Then came the card reader. This was supposed to be safer and less open to fraud. Everyone had their own unique personal identification number, their PIN number. The PIN had to be entered every time the card was used. As long as only the cardholder knew the number then no-one could steal the money. But fraudsters found ways of either getting the number or cloning the card. Now we have contactless cards, the card doesn't need to go into a machine just tap onto it and Hey Presto! Just like magic the money is gone.

I have to admit that I have never used this feature on my card. I like to put it into a machine, tap my number, wait for it to connect to some other machine, wait...........then take my card. Why haven't I used contactless? Well where is the security? It all happens so fast can I be sure the amount is correct? What if someone has a reader and holds it against my bag can they just take money from me?

I did a little googling and discovered that all these fears are unfounded. That unlike cash my money is secure. If I lose my card then I can get my money back. That someone just standing close to me with a reader cannot steal my money, it needs to go through a proper registered account so even if they did mange to take my money the bank would know who took it. I can only spend up to £30 this way so no one is going to be able to take all my money in one swipe anyway. Occasionally I will be asked to enter my PIN as an added security measure.

My bus pass is contactless and I use that without problems so I will use my card now I understand it better.

Contactless Payments. Are They The Future? I think they are but by the time I have caught up there will be another easier way to pay. Maybe I will just have to stare hard into a machine?

If you would like to find out more about cashless or contactless payments check out UK Credit's Money Life blog.

*Disclosure -This is a collaborative post


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26 comments

  1. I love contactless payments, it is so quick and easy which is perfect when everyone is rushing.
    I have recently downloaded Apple Pay onto my iPhone, I haven't used it yet but it will be perfect for those all too frequent times that I forgot to take my purse to the shop!

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    Replies
    1. I should try that too! I really am rubbish at new technology for paying but contactless definitely looks like one way forward.

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    2. I just downloaded Apple Pay as well Leanne, but am too scared to use it so far!!

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    3. Apple Pay is even more secure than cards as it will require you to unlock your phone to use it. If you don't have a lock on your phone, you won't be able to use Apple Pay. Same applies to Android Pay.

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    4. Thats great to know Phil Thank you

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  2. I work part time in retail and have often wondered about this. Especially find it interesting when people use their phone to pay! It all confuses me so this is a fab post

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    1. Thank you I learnt a lot just researching this too

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  3. I used to be scared to use contactless and now I use it all the time! So much quicker and easier, especially when I have the toddler in tow!

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    Replies
    1. I used it today for the first time! It was just so easy

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  4. I love contactless - it's so handy. Especially when I'm wrestling three kids and a bag full of shopping!

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  5. I am a big fan on contactless. Sainsbury's still don't have it and I find it really annoying! Xx

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  6. I was like you, hated contactless, was worried that someone could take my money so easily....however I started using it once when a little independent shop owner got me to use it.....not looked back since!

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    1. I'm hooked. I used it today and it was so easy

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  7. At first it was strange to me the whole contactless thing, but now I love it. When you pop into a shop you just tap and your done. The only thing that needs to catch up now is the slowly printing receipts.
    www.cutepandaa.co.uk
    x

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    1. You are right, it's just because it's strange but I think it is catching on quickly

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  8. As someone who works in the card payment industry I can shed some further light too. One of the common styles of fraud was acutally card theft. Someone would be watching you at the till or cashpoint, even through a shop window, watch you use your card, watch you enter your PIN. Then they could steal your card from your bag and use it until you realize it's missing and report it. With no limits. Contactless means that you are not entering a PIN which means the "no limit" aspect of stealing your card is gone. You can only spend up to £30 per day and you can actually only use your contactless card 3 times before the terminal will then default to PIN requirement. So the fraud risk is actually dramatically reduced by using contactless.

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    1. This is great. Thank you so much for your comments they totally make sense and I felt so much better that I used it today and am now hooked! This is the way to pay

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  9. OOps, I meant £30 per transaction, not per day. (Up to 3 times)

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  10. I think it's very useful and convenient, although I don't use my contactless card very often as I'm scared of losing it! x

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  11. I was dubious about the security of this at first and do worry that if I lost my card someone could easily use it in a shop. I understand it's £30 per transaction, but thought if they then went somewhere they could then spend up to another £30 using contactless? Maybe I'm wrong! Great post x

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  12. Thank you. I think you are right but if you lost your purse your cash would be gone, you are able to claim back money spent on a card fraudulently. I am still learning too!

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  13. I was quite worried about it at first but I have to say I use contactless all the time now. Well unless I'm spending more than £30 lol x

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  14. I love contactless payment, makes life so much easier, especially when shopping with kids! Apple Pay is fab too :) x

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