As a result of the pandemic, many consumers are looking for ways to decrease their contact with others to maintain their health and safety. This is why contactless payment options have surged in popularity. If you have never used contactless payments, you might be wondering what options are available to you and how you can easily add them to your mobile devices. So, to help you better understand your options, here’s what you need to know about contactless payments.
WHAT ARE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS
Contactless payments are secure payments made with a buyer’s smartphone or credit card but do not require anyone to touch a payment machine. Through a radiofrequency identification (RFID) in a buyer’s smartphone or credit card, payment machines can retract payments when prompted without having to make physical contact.
CONTACTLESS CREDIT CARD
The most popular type of contactless payment is a credit card. Most new credit cards have RFID installed and allow for contactless payments without the buyer doing anything additionally. It’s important to remember that contactless payments only work when the card reader is equipped with contactless payments.
People with smartphones can also add their credit cards to their phone’s payment apps. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay are the most popular apps for tap-to-pay capabilities. Users can upload their credit card information into these apps, then use their phones to make contactless payments. Typically, smartphone users can open their contactless payment apps, then hold their phones within a couple of inches of the payment terminal to complete payment.
STORE MOBILE APPS
Some stores have mobile apps that offer contactless payments. These include retailers such as Walmart, gas stations, and more. Customers that use apps can make payments for their purchases using their accounts within the app.
To use these apps, users must create an account and upload their credit card information. Then, when in the store or at the pump, open the app and allow it to geo-locate. Then, the app will ask for users to scan a QR code or enter a PIN. Once the transaction is approved, you will be able to begin pumping gas. If you are in the checkout lane, your credit card will authorize the payment within a few seconds. After the transaction is complete, a receipt will be uploaded into the app.
Some companies that have mobile apps that allow payment include Walmart, Pret A Manger, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Wawa, Shell, and more.
Some third-party apps allow users to make payments at retailers. Ibotta and United Airlines’ MileagePlus X appS allow users to purchase e-gift cards with their credit cards, then pay at the store using those gift cards.
For example, a user might choose to buy a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card on the Ibotta app. Then, when shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond, the user can use the Ibotta app to locate the store in the app, enter the purchase amount, and confirm the purchase amount. A QR code or barcode will appear in the app so the person running the register can scan it.
With both Ibotta and MileagePlus X, users that use the apps to buy gift cards or shop online can earn loyalty rewards. Because users make purchases through the apps with their credit cards, they might be able to earn both reward points within the apps as well as with their credit card companies.
Contactless payments are a safe and quick way to make payments without encountering cash or payment terminals. These contactless payments are not only easy to use but can also help prevent the spread of the current pandemic. Additionally, some contactless payments can help users earn points to be used for further purchases and cashback.