What is a Contactless card and how do I get one?

Product Information 1 December 2017

What is Contactless?

Contactless is a method of payment where you don’t have to enter your pin number into the payment machine. Simply tap your contactless card or device against the terminal to pay for transactions that are £30 or less.

If the card machine can take Contactless payments, there are a variety of ways customers can pay, including:

  • Credit and debit cards that are Contactless-enabled (as indicated by the four-curved-line wave symbol on the front).
  • Smartphone apps like Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, where customers can tap their smartphone against the terminal to make a payment.
  • Smartwatches and wearable devices can be used to make Contactless payments, so long as they have the relevant payment app installed.

How do Contactless payments work?

Contactless devices communicate with the payment terminal using short-range wireless technology. Your contactless card or payment device contains a chip and an antenna. The chip holds your account information and the antenna detects the signal from the card reader. When you carry out a Contactless transaction:

  1. The payment terminal detects a Contactless card is within range, via an electromagnetic field, and turns itself ‘on’.
  2. Using an encrypted language, the Contactless card and the terminal exchange information.
  3. When the Contactless card recognises the terminal, it carries out a coded data transfer to make the payment.
  4. If the payment is successful, the terminal will confirm that it has gone through.

Contactless cards, devices and terminals contain anti-fraud technology to keep your information secure, so making a Contactless payment is just as safe as it is when you enter your PIN.

Where to get a Contactless card or payment terminal

Because they’re so popular, all major banks now automatically provide new customers with a Contactless card. Those who are still using an old debit or credit card that isn’t Contactless enabled can simply contact their bank and ask for a replacement.

To meet the demand for Contactless payment, all of our card machines are compatible with Contactless debit and credit cards as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay. No extra costs are applied to you or your customers.

Where are Contactless payments accepted?

The growing popularity of Contactless payments among businesses and consumers is undeniable. 

Everywhere from major grocery retailers to independent cafes offer Contactless as a payment option. Beyond speeding up transactions and offering a more convenient way to pay, Contactless is something customers now expect during their shopping experience.

How to accept Contactless payments

Getting started with Contactless payments is quick and simple. As all our card machines are equipped with Contactless, Apple Pay, and Android Pay as standard. You don’t need to take any extra steps to get started. Once you’ve set up your machine, it’ll be ready to take Contactless payments, at no extra cost to you or your customers.

We’ll also give you a sticker that you can place on your shop window or counter, so customers know you accept Contactless payments. You can advertise how quick and easy it is to shop at your business.

Contactless isn’t just a more efficient and convenient way to accept transactions, it’s fast becoming the mainstream way of paying. By integrating it into your business, you can improve your daily workflow and satisfy your customers’ expectations. Get a free online quote or speak to our experts to find out how to get started with Contactless today.

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