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How Do Contactless Payment Cards Work - How to Get a Contactless Payment Card From Your Bank.

Contactless Payment Cards Explained

Contactless payment cards are the logical next step from Chip and PIN technology, and self-service in supermarkets. They call upon something called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a non-contact wireless system using radio-frequency electronic fields to communicate data for the purposes of automatic identification and information tracking.

RFID technology is not entirely new, neither is it exclusive to banking and payment. It is already used in the car industry, for instance, to track the progress of a car during assembly in order to identify which stage of production it is currently at. Domestic animals and livestock can also be tagged with RFID as a means of identification.

Many retailers are keen to introduced RFID technology as they believe its unprecedented ease of use will encourage customers to make more purchases. Indeed for smaller transactions (typically up to a value of £20 at present) no signature or PIN number is required.

The principle of RFID in shopping is that customers simply wave their fob or card over a reader at the point of sale.

Because it is so relatively effortless and removes much of the stress from shopping it is believed this will result in more transactions being made.

“Which?” magazine has produced an excellent online guide to the new technology called “Contactless Payment Cards Explained”, which has a handy question and answer section explaining the whole concept. If the thought of adopting such a revolutionary new and different method of shopping is a little daunting this will prove to be more than offset by the simplicity of the experience itself. As somebody has noted, it will be like buying bread with an Oyster card.

There are of course some concerns regarding contactless payment cards, and many of them revolve around security. Whilst cash can be physically stolen from a person’s handbag or wallet, it is recognised that there is the potential for RFID information to be “hacked” whilst on the customer’s person without the card itself having to be handled by the thief. Those who have been charged with developing the contactless payment technology are always looking for ways in which such a prospect may be minimised, or preferably eradicated altogether.

With adequate security measures and the concept of contactless payment cards explained properly to future users, there is every reason to anticipate that this technology will find common usage over a matter of the next few years. Contactless payment cards are already used in thirteen countries including the USA and Australia, and some 16 million contactless payment cards have already been issued.

Apply for a contactless payment card today.

 
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