How do Contactless cards work?


However, many people have concerns about them, and in the summer of 2015, Which? tested their security. Although there are some safeguards, we were able to easily obtain reader technology that allowed us to ‘steal’ enough details from volunteers’ cards to allow us to buy items online.

How do contactless cards work?

Contactless debit or credit cards allow you to pay for items worth up to £20 (rising to £30 in September 2015) without entering your Pin.

Every contactless card has a small chip in it that emits radio waves. To pay for something, you hold the card near a payment terminal, which picks up a signal and processes the transaction.

You can tell whether your card is contactless by looking for a small logo on it which consists of four small curved lines, similar to the wi-fi symbol. The logo is also displayed on payment terminals that accept contactless payments.

Where can I make contactless payments?

Many shops are now accepting contactless cards, including Wal-Mart, McDonald’s  and Costco. Simply hold your card up against the Chip and Pin machine at the checkout.

Large chains are more likely to accept contactless cards them than small shops.

If your card shows this symbol it
contains contactless technology.
Retailers accepting contactless
payments display this symbol.