Understand Contactless payments in under 6 minutes

Contactless payment technology has revolutionised the retail experience over the last few years. It’s now the quickest, easiest way to pay, with recent research showing that over half of all consumers now own a Contactless card.

So how does Contactless technology work exactly, and how can tapping into Contactless help you as a business? Read on to find out why your business needs to start accepting contactless payments.

How does Contactless work?

Contactless debit or credit cards allow consumers to make purchases of up to £30 quickly and securely without having to enter a PIN. Each card contains a tiny chip that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) technology, so when it’s held within a few centimetres of a card machine the chip can be used to process a transaction.

The technology used is a lot like the technology in the Oyster card on the Transport for London system. Card payments up to a value of £30 are taken from a bank account almost instantly and consumers can make up to five transactions quickly and easily before they have to enter a PIN. This is for security reasons, so that if a Contactless payment card is stolen it can’t be used to run up large bills.

The use of Contactless technology has taken off in the UK — with around 92.1m Contactless cards now in issue. This is more than one Contactless card for every man, woman and child in the country! This number is of course split between debit and credit cards, but is steadily increasing, with over 240m Contactless payments now made in a month.

How can Contactless help my business?

Contactless is quick, easy and stress-free — meaning you’ll be able to serve your customers faster than ever. The £30 transaction limit is currently being reviewed, and may be changed — meaning customers will be able to make more expensive (and potentially impulsive) transactions with one simple tap.

Accepting Contactless payments could even future-proof your business, with a whole new range of Contactless products and gadgets on the horizon from e-wallets to smartwatches which will give your customers a whole host of new ways to pay.

So with Contactless becoming more and more common, it’s time to embrace it — it could be the difference between securing or losing a sale.