Mastercard PayPass is a popular new technology that allows you to tap your card on a contactless payment terminal to complete a purchase, rather than inserting or swiping your card and entering a PIN. Here’s how this technology works and which Mastercard credit cards offer this feature.
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How does Mastercard PayPass work?
Contactless payment technology is quite simple:
- Make a purchase at a merchant that has a Mastercard PayPass contactless terminal.
- Hold your card within 4 cm of the terminal to approve the purchase.
- Wait for the green light and a beep indicating your purchase has been approved.
Mastercard PayPass does come with a caveat: if the purchase is over $100, you’ll need to enter your PIN after tapping the terminal.
Contactless payments use an embedded computer chip and radio frequency antenna to communicate with the contactless terminal card reader. Each contactless payment generates a unique code so you won’t be charged double for contactless payments if you accidentally tap your card on the reader twice.
To make things even easier, you may also be issued with a Mastercard PayPass key fob or payment tag. The small plastic fob or tag contains the same contactless computer chip and radio frequency antenna as your regular credit card.
Finally, many issuers allow you to make contactless payments with your mobile device. This means that not only do you not have to enter your PIN, you might not even have to use your card to make purchases.
Is it safe to use Mastercard PayPass?
There are some pros and cons using contactless payments but they are just as safe as any other transaction. The following security procedures and policies are in place to make sure your PayPass contactless payments are protected:
- No accidental payments. As you need to hold the card within an inch or so of the terminal, there is little chance that an accidental payment will be made using your card as you walk by a terminal that is enabled to accept contactless payments.
- Encryption technology. Each purchase generates a unique encryption code which ensures that you’ll only be charged once, even if you accidentally tap your card against the terminal twice or if you don’t hold your card on the reader long enough and you’re asked to tap it again.
- Mastercard Zero Liability guarantee. If your card has been lost or stolen, you should contact your card issuer immediately to either freeze or cancel the card. If your card has been stolen and used for unauthorized transactions, you’ll be protected by Mastercard’s Zero Liability guarantee and will be reimbursed for any fraudulent transactions.
Mastercard PayPass is a simple, convenient and secure way to make contactless payments using your credit card. While using your card for contactless payments is mostly safe, it’s important you use it wisely and store it safely to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
Learn about some common credit card frauds and scams so you can stay protected.
Frequently asked questions
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