Let’s know about Contactless Card Payment Technology

Niraj Dubey
The term contactless payment refers to a secure method for consumers to purchase products or services using a debit, credit, smartcard, or another payment device by using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and near-field communication (NFC). This payment method works by tapping a payment card or other device near a point-of-sale terminal equipped with contactless payment technology. Contactless payment is also referred to as tap-and-go or tap by some banks and retailers. Cards with waves/Wi-Fi symbol, also known as contactless card, speed up purchases as one does not have to enter Pin. So it’s no dipping, swiping or waiting for contactless card debit and credit cards at the contactless machines. Card never leaves your hand. In India, payment through such mode is allowed for a maximum of 2000/- rupees for a single transaction, where you are not asked to enter your secret Pin. You can still use your card for purchases using chip & pin at machines without the contactless technology. There is even no difference in using the contactless card for amounts more than 2000/- rupees or using the card at ATM or on the internet. The contactless payment is much faster than the EMV chip cards. While an EMV transaction takes roughly 30 seconds, a contactless payment takes almost half time. It is very helpful in places like Petrol Pumps, Fast Food joints, movie theatre and for small amount transactions as it requires no dipping, swiping. Entering the pin or fumbling for cash. This latest Technology offers the same level of protection as chip & pin payments. Various payment systems worldwide call this technology differently: MasterCard call it (PayPass), while Visa calls it (PayWave). With the rise in wireless technology and the popularity of smart devices, consumers can also connect their credit cards to a device-a Smartphone, smart watch, or fitness tracker-to pay using the contactless system as well. This is done by downloading a payment app such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay thus allowing consumers to securely store credit and debit card information to make purchases by tapping a Smartphone or Apple -iWatch.
How To Use Contactless Card
Using contactless card payment is like how employees use their ID-Card to enter the office by showing their ID-Card over a terminal by the door. Such technology works on the same principle. The basic steps to use such cards are as follows:- a) Look for the contactless logo( Wi-fi logo) at the merchant machine also called as Point of Sale (POS) machine. b) The cashier enters your purchase amount into the POS terminal. This amount is displayed on the contactless reader. c) Hold your card over the reader or at the POS from a close range less than 4cm from where the Wi-fi logo appears. d) Green indicator lights or a beep sound will indicate when the transaction is complete. No Pin is required for transaction less than 2000/-. Contactless payment is a secure payment method using a debit or credit card, smartcard, or another payment device by using RFID technology and near-field communication. As far as global scenario is concerned, countries like Australia, New-Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore do over 50% transactions with contactless cards.
Contactless Cards in India
Visa contactless card was launched in India in 2015-16. Visa revealed that the acceptance infrastructure for such cards has crossed 10 Lakhs terminals and over 20 million consumers across India in 2018. With more banks currently issuing contactless cards, Indian consumers are now experiencing a faster way to pay at supermarkets, dining, entertainment venues and retailers such as Big-Bazaar, Reliance Retail, PVR, Vishal Mega Mart etc. The Indian government’s push towards digital payments was further strengthened with a directive in july 2018 to consider adding a new technology so called NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities in addition to EMV chip feature. NFC-enabled mobile phones incorporate smart chips (called secure elements) that allow phones to securely store the payment application and consumer account information and to use the information as a contactless “virtual payment card.” These contactless mobile payments can be accepted at all of the same locations as contactless payment cards. This is because NFC payments and contactless credit and debit cards all use the same standard, ISO/IEC 14443, for communication.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Contactless Payment
Fraudsters are able to steal and clone information from magnetic stripes on the back of payment cards. This allows them to clone the information and make new cards, leading to fraud and identity theft. Contactless payment cuts down the risk to both the consumer and the merchant. That’s because they’re more secure than using magnetic stripes on the back of payment cards. Information submitted through the merchant terminal through contactless payment, on the other hand, is encrypted, meaning it is difficult to intercept and steal. Despite these security features, criminals are still able to skim cards in consumers’ wallets using Smartphone’s to read. The range at which a card can be read is very short and, even if the thief is close enough to grab data, they can’t create a copy of the card. This is not true of cards with magnetic stripes. That said, chip and PIN cards are still the most secure, as they can’t be duplicated and require data not contained anywhere else on the card. Consumers are now able to dispute fraudulent transactions and get replacement cards. There are also protective card sleeves and wallets that block readers from getting to your card data in the first place. The author likes to conclude this write up by this beautiful slogan : Build the nation without corruption. Do the transaction without Cash.
The author is Sr. Faculty & Cyber Passionate (J&K)