Since their debut in the early 2000s, contactless payment cards have become increasingly popular, especially in Europe and Asia. In 2017, there were over 1.8 billion contactless cards in circulation worldwide.1 And as of 2019, there are an estimated 3.4 billion2 contactless card holders globally.
There are many reasons for the popularity of contactless payments. They’re quick, convenient, and secure. Contactless payments can be made in seconds, without the need to enter a PIN or sign a receipt. And because the transaction is processed electronically, there’s no risk of losing cash or having it stolen.
What is Tap and Pay?
Tap and pay is a type of contactless payment that allows you to make transactions by simply waving your card or mobile device in front of a reader. The reader will then communicate with your card or device to process the payment.
Tap and pay can be used for both small and large purchases. For example, you can use it to pay for coffee, groceries, or even a new TV.
How Does Tap and Pay Work?
Tap and pay transactions are made possible by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. NFC is a type of wireless communication that allows two devices to exchange data over short distances.3
When you tap your card or device on an NFC-enabled reader, it sends a signal to the reader that initiates the payment process. The reader then communicates with your card or device to verify your identity and authorize the transaction.
The whole process is completed in just a few seconds. And because NFC technology is built into many smartphones and smartwatches, you don’t even need a physical credit or debit card to tap and pay.
What Are the Benefits of Tap and Pay?
There are many benefits of using tap and pay, including:
- Convenience: Tap and pay is quick and easy to use. There’s no need to fumble around with cash or cards, or enter a PIN. Just tap your card or device on the reader and you’re good to go.
- Security: Tap and pay transactions are more secure than traditional card payments. That’s because your card never leaves your sight and the transaction is processed electronically. So, if your card is lost or stolen, there’s no risk of someone using it to make unauthorized purchases.
- Rewards: Many credit and debit cards offer rewards for tap and pay transactions. So, you can earn points, cash back, or other perks just by using your card to make everyday purchases.
What Are the Risks of Tap and Pay?
Although tap and pay is a convenient and secure way to pay, there are a few risks to be aware of, including:
- Fraud: As with any type of payment, there’s always a risk of fraud. If your card or device is lost or stolen, someone could use it to make unauthorized purchases.
- Compatibility: Not all merchants have NFC-enabled readers. So, you may not be able to use tap and pay at all stores or restaurants.
What Should You Do if Your Card Is Lost or Stolen?
If your card is lost or stolen, you should report it to your card issuer immediately. They will then cancel your card and issue you a new one.
How Do You Use Tap and Pay?
Using tap and pay is simple. Just wave your card or device in front of an NFC-enabled reader and follow the prompts.
You may be asked to enter your PIN for certain transactions, such as those over a certain amount. But for most transactions, you won’t need to do anything else. The payment will be processed automatically.
Do You Need to Use Tap and Pay?
You don’t need to tap and pay if you don’t want to. If a merchant offers tap and pay, you can always choose to pay with cash or a traditional card.
And if you’re worried about the security of tap and pay, you can always opt for a payment method that doesn’t use NFC technology, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Tap and pay contactless payment is a convenient and secure way to pay for everyday purchases. But it’s not right for everyone. So, take the time to consider all of your options before you decide whether or not to use tap and pay.