Technology enabling payment without physical contact
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EMV contactless symbol used on compatible payment terminals
Contactless payment systems are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smart cards, or other devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, that use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC, e.g. Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, or any bank mobile application that supports contactless) for making secure payments. The embedded integrated circuit chip and antenna enable consumers to wave their card, fob, or handheld device over a reader at the Point-of-sale terminal. Contactless payments are made in close physical proximity, unlike other types of mobile payments which use broad-area cellular or WiFi networks and do not involve close physical proximity.
EMV is a common standard used by major credit card and smartphone companies for use in general commerce. Contactless smart cards that function as stored-value cards are becoming popular for use as transit system farecards, such as the Oyster card or RioCard. These can often store non-currency value (such as monthly passes), in additional to fare value purchased with cash or electronic payment.
Tokenisation is a newer concept of encapsulating a card issuers details within a hardware device application such as via Apple Pay app on iPhones.
Some suppliers claim that transactions can be almost twice as fast as a conventional cash, credit, or debit card purchase. Because no signature or PIN verification is typically required, contactless purchases are usually limited to small value sales. Lack of authentication provides a window during which fraudulent purchases can be made while the card owner is unaware of the card's loss.
Major financial institutions and multinational corporations now offer contactless payment systems to customers as contactless credit cards have become widespread in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, etc., as consumers are likely to spend more money using their cards due to the ease of small transactions. With contactless cards growing in numbers and percentages of adoption, the number of payments by this method had increased significantly since the spending limit was raised.[when?] Purchases made by card now surpass those made by cash and account for approximately one-third of all card transactions in countries like the UK. Contactless payments specifically have become increasingly popular, accounting for 4 out of 5 point-of-sale purchases in Australia as of 2019. Card issuers indicate that they will increase the availability of contactless cards to consumers. There are over 58 million contactless-enabled cards and over 147,000 terminals in use in the UK alone, VISA estimated that there would be 300 million contactless cards issued in the US by the end of 2020, up from the predicted 100 million at the end of 2019.
Image of Contactless Card, opened up
^Reserve Bank of Australia (19 April 2022). "How Australians pay Snapshot (2019 Consumer Payments Survey)". Reserve Bank of Australia. Archived from the original on 2020-03-01. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
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