Just tap to pay - How contactless payments work

10 December 2012 / Published in Tech & Innovation

It can get a little frustrating when you’re in a rush at a shop and you have to wait at the counter for your card to process, right? Fear not, there is a solution!

You've probably noticed new symbols on your Visa and MasterCard branded payments cards.

So what exactly do they mean? You might think it’s Wi-Fi built in to your card (unfortunately that’s a feature not yet available) but it’s actually the international symbol for contactless payments.

What are contactless payments?

  • Your card will look normal but inside the card is an antenna and chip.
  • This antenna enables you to tap your card against the reader or terminal and the transaction is done, there’s no swiping, inserting the card, PIN or signature required.
  • You can use contactless payments for purchases under $200 NZD (for purchases over $200 a PIN or signature will still be required)
  • Visa calls this technology Visa payWave and MasterCard calls it PayPass.

Why is it so great?

  • It speeds up transactions.
  • Your card never leaves your hand so this reduces the opportunity for the card to be skimmed.
  • There is less wear and tear on the card since it doesn’t need to be inserted into a terminal for any small purchases, making it last longer.
  • For purchases under $200 you can still choose to either tap the card to pay, or insert your card to the terminal and pay with a PIN.

Is it safe?

Contactless cards are safe, and use advanced cryptographic security. Every transaction includes a unique dynamic code which changes every time it’s used. The account information contained in a contactless card is just the same as the information found on a traditional chip card and has the  same level of security protection and fraud prevention.

The card can only be read within approximately 4cm of a reader, so always make sure you take your card out of your wallet before you get to the terminal and hold it on the reader until the transaction is complete.

How can I get it?

All ASB Visa cards have payWave and all ASB MasterCards have PayPass.

Credit Card Conditions of Use and Visa Debit Card Conditions of Use apply.

** Credit card lending criteria apply


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