Demystifying Contactless Payment System; Here’s the Reality

Contactless reader from mastercard

A good percentage of our population still think that for a person to make his or her payment with a card, they have to swipe or dip it. However, the reality is that there are over 370 million contactless cards, which are accepted in more than 8 million outlets across 111 countries and as a result, customers can use this system to pay for their goods or services with a simple tap. This system works through a radio frequency (RFID) antenna, which gives a wireless link with the contactless reader machine such that when the card is tapped against the reader, its information will be transmitted immediately.

Consequently, this system has been adopted in South Africa, and many people can have access to and benefits of contactless payments. This system works by just tapping your card against the card machine at the point of sale for settlement exceeding 500 rands. Therefore, this system does not require PIN Codes, signatures, and swiping. Nonetheless, any transaction above the 500 rands can also let the customer tap and enter his or her PIN Code. In general, MasterCard has offered the contactless technology it guarantees its users safe as well as comfortable to pay with a tap.

This contactless system is secure, and it can guarantee the users safety of their money in the account because the system needs different information compared to those required over the phone or online. For instance, the system does not transmit the billing address, the 3-digit security code, and cardholder’s name. On the contrary, the system sends the account information and a one-time code from the card to the reader to ascertain every transaction made. Additionally, MasterCard has an effective fraud detection system as well as artificial intelligence to determine any case of suspicious activity. Moreover, if a person’s card is compromised, it is safeguarded with a zero liability pledge and as a result; it will not be subjected to unauthorized charges. Therefore, the aforementioned explanations help to debunk myths surrounding the security of this contactless payment system.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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