Ever tried tapping your credit card to pay for your purchases and bills? Yes, you read it right—some cards are tapped rather than swiped or dipped. These innovative payment tools are called contactless credit cards.
Contactless payment isn’t exactly new in the Philippines. As early as 2013, Filipinos have been using contactless credit, debit, and prepaid cards such as the Visa payWave.
While contactless technology isn’t a popular payment option yet, it has so much potential in the Philippines. In the 2017 Visa Consumer Attitude Study, 68% of Filipinos said they’re interested in making contactless payments. Over 25% have used contactless cards, and almost 75% preferred them over cash.
When you tap a contactless card on a POS terminal, the terminal reads the chip on the card and sends information (including your credit card account number, expiration date, and a unique code) to your credit card’s network (Visa or Mastercard). The network then verifies the data and analyzes it for fraud.
If the transaction is valid, the network sends its confirmation to your issuing bank. When the bank confirms your card has sufficient balance and isn’t stolen, the data goes back to the merchant, and your payment gets approved.
Paying with a contactless card is easier and quicker than cash, debit card, and traditional credit card payments. A contactless transaction can be completed within 2 to 6 seconds, which is about twice as fast as other payment modes.
Since contactless payments don’t require a signature or PIN verification for purchases up to PHP 2,000, tapping your credit card is ideal for daily, small purchases such as fast-food meals, fuel, and groceries.
Contactless credit cards are more secure than magnetic stripe cards for the following reasons:
Sometimes, businesses and credit card providers offer promos to customers who pay with their contactless credit card. They may give away freebies, raffle prizes, or other special perks.
For instance, you can get a free snack when you tap a BDO Visa contactless credit card to buy SM Cinema tickets (Promo is valid until November 30, 2018).
Contactless payments are limited to purchases not higher than PHP 2,000, which means thieves can’t make big purchases with a stolen contactless card.
Still, the lack of authentication via a signature or PIN could be a security issue. What if a fraudster makes multiple purchases worth less than the PHP 2,000 cap? Those charges would surely add up to your credit card bill if your card got stolen and you weren’t able to report it to the bank immediately.
Because it’s a breeze to pay with a contactless credit card, it’s just as easy to spend more than necessary. In extreme cases, this behavior can max out a credit card and ruin one’s budget.
However, if you’re disciplined enough with your finances, overspending on a contactless card—no matter how convenient it is—won’t be a habit.
Most major banks in the Philippines have either the Visa payWave or Mastercard PayPass feature on select credit cards.
Even if a merchant doesn’t have contactless-enabled payment terminals, you can still pay with your contactless card by inserting or swiping it into a POS terminal.
If your payment is PHP 2,000 or below, your signature isn’t needed. But if your transaction exceeds PHP 2,000, your credit card will be used like a regular card in which you’ll either sign the charge slip or enter your PIN.
Because contactless cards are designed to be a paperless tap-and-go payment mode, no charge slip is printed when the transaction is complete. But if you need a charge slip, you can request the cashier to print it.
Unlike the mandatory switch to EMV cards in the Philippines, your credit card provider won’t automatically issue a new contactless card to you, unless your expiring card is up for renewal or you’re replacing your lost or stolen card.
However, if you want a contactless credit card even though your existing card isn’t expired or lost, you can request for one by calling your bank or visiting its branch. Expect to pay a card replacement fee of PHP 250 to PHP 400, depending on the bank.
Now that you know how a contactless credit card works, as well as its pros and cons, will you use its tap-and-go feature when paying for your next purchases? Or do you still prefer the traditional way of using a credit card? Let us know in the comments!