Contactless Payments – The pros and cons of tap and go

To tap or not to tap? That is the question when using Visa payWave or Mastercard Tap & Go®.

Updated

Visa payWave and Mastercard Tap & Go® are new ways to pay for your everyday purchases without your physical card touching anything. To use this feature, you need to wave your card in front of a contactless debit/credit card terminal and your transaction will be processed. There are no additional steps to complete, like signing a receipt or inputting your PIN to authorize the transaction.

You can only use contactless payment for purchases under $100. You can tap and go for everyday products and services like groceries, gas, clothing and much more.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

19.99 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Apply today and receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first 6 months of card membership

  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance rate: 21.99%
  • Regular balance transfer rate:
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Credit rating: Good, Excellent
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Compare top credit cards offering contactless payments

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Supported Contactless Payments Reward
American Express Cobalt Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Samsung Pay
Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, and earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent elsewhere. Terms apply
Earn up to 40,000 Membership Rewards points. In the first year, earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each billing period when you charge at least $500 in eligible purchases to your card (for a total earn of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards). Plus, earn up to 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases in your first three months
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
11.9%
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
Earn 10,000 Points ($50 travel value). Plus, get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year. Apply by June 29, 2020. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. Conditions apply.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Google Pay
Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and get 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
Earn a bonus of up to 35,000 BMO Rewards points with a minimum spend of $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership ($250 travel value to be used towards a flight booked through bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
19.9%
22.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn up to 60,000 Points ($300 travel value). Plus, get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year. Apply by June 29, 2020. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. Conditions apply.
Scotiabank Passport  Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Apple Pay
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to a total bonus of 40,000 Scotia Rewards points (up to a $400 travel value) in your first year. Earn 30,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. Apply by July 1, 2020. Plus, earn 10,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points each year when you spend at least $40,000 annually on eligible purchases (and earn 2,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points for every additional $10,000 in purchases thereafter).
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
12.99%
$20
Google Pay
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
payWave
Apple Pay
Get 1% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and get 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Get a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all eligible purchases for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2020.
The Platinum Card from American Express
N/A
N/A
$699
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Samsung Pay
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining in Canada, 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases as well as hotel and car rental bookings made with American Express Travel, and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
As a new Platinum Cardmember, earn 25,000 Welcome Bonus Membership Rewards points when you charge $2,000 in purchases to your card in the first three months of Cardmembership.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
20.99%
21.99%
$120
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Samsung Pay
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent on eligible food, drink, gas and transit purchases (up to an annual spend of $30,000), and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on all other eligible purchases (and after the $30,000 annual spend)
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
American Express Business Edge Card
19.99%
21.99%
$99
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Samsung Pay
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible business essentials including office supplies, electronics, rides, gas, eats and drinks (up to an annual earn of 75,000 Membership Rewards), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn a Welcome Bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, and earn 1,000 Membership Rewards points each month (a total of 12,000 annually) when you spend a minimum of $3,000 on eligible purchases
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What is Near Field Communication (NFC)?

Near field communication imageNear Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that enables your mobile phone to securely transmit and receive information over a short range, typically requiring a distance of 4cm when making a payment. It is an upgrade of the existing radio-frequency identification (RFID), which combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device.

Visa payWave and Tap & Go® have NFC technology that make contactless payments possible. Referred to as “tap and go”, you can then either wave or tap your credit card at a contactless debit/credit machine to pay for products or services without the need to key in your PIN number or signing a receipt.

What are the pros and cons of tap and go?

Pros

  • Convenient, since you only have to “tap and pay” using your credit card or smartphone.
  • No keying in a PIN or signing a receipt.
  • Gives you peace of mind as you are protected against fraudulent transactions.
  • Reduces threat of hackers who scan cards and steal valuable information, since NFC uses data encryption when sending sensitive information.
  • Cost and time efficient for the average consumer.
  • You don’t have to worry about typing errors (such as incorrectly entering your PIN) and the connection is quicker on the contactless terminal.
  • Retailers no longer have access to your credit card information.
  • You’re able to keep track of rewards and use points for your purchases or redeem miles. Some banks even offer cash back and prizes when you use this feature.
  • Convenient and quick checkout payments means shorter wait times in line ups at stores.

Cons

  • Only some businesses have adopted this technology, so it might create confusion or frustration among users.
  • Not all consumers are educated about this technology.
  • Only consumers with smartphones or those with contactless credit cards can use this technology.
  • You may lose your credit card and your account may be compromised.
  • Risk of spyware or malware attacks and other viruses like any computer device in the terminal.
  • You can only make contactless payment purchases of up to $100.

FAQ: I’m a small business owner – should I get a contactless payment system?

If you run a small business, updating your credit/debit terminal to one that offers contactless payments provides your customers with faster and more convenient card processing. However, upgrading could attract additional upfront fees and extra costs for training to get used to the new system. Compare different card payment systems and weigh up the potential benefits versus the costs to decide if this option is right for your business.

Eddit Grobler

Eddie Grobler

  • Eddie is the Divisional President: Mastercard Australasia
  • He was previously SVP at Mastercard Southern Africa

“Contactless is the way to make and accept payments – it’s quicker and more convenient for consumers and allows merchants to accept more payments at peak sales times. It helps reduce the delays caused by queuing or searching for change and, with consumers already noticing the benefits, we believe it will be available across a large number of retailers in the next couple of years.”

Both Visa payWave and Mastercard Tap & Go® contain a technology called NFC, which requires you to hold the card within 4cm of the card reader and carries a unique security code per transaction for fraud protection. It carries the same layers of security as any other Visa or Mastercard chip card and is backed by their respective Zero Liability Policy.

While it’s convenient and efficient to have this payment method in place, a lot of consumers have questioned the security implications of using this technology. However, Mr. Grobler has announced there are plenty of security measures in the place.

“For online purchases, merchants will be required to offer Mastercard SecureCode authentication, or equivalent, for items over $200 and for purchases at the point of sale, we are ensuring that all cards and terminals will be EMV capable.”

“These measures will add an additional layer of security to an already robust system.”

“Trust is at the very core of our business. We want our cardholders to feel safe about using their cards which is why we are continuing to invest in stringent security measures. Between now and 2013, security for online payments will be a primary focus, which is great news for merchants and consumers alike.”

Eddie Grobler image: nfcworld.com

NFC image: nxp.com

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