How Contactless Payments Work and How It Can Help Us Today

Published: June 17, 2020 | Updated: September 15, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance

Contactless Payment in the Philippines | Moneymax

Most Filipinos use cash for transactions, but more people are now embracing contactless payment. Almost eight of 10 Filipinos plan on using their cards for payments instead of cash, according to data from the 2018 Visa Consumer Payment Attitude Study[1]. The COVID-19 outbreak has also made establishments switch to contactless payments. Because this method doesn’t require entering a PIN or using a pen for signature, physical contact is minimal.

Contactless payments are not new but are becoming more significant in the world we live in. Keep on reading to know how this payment option works, why it’s important today, and what contactless payment options you can use for products and services in the Philippines.

What Is Contactless Payment?

Contactless payment is a type of payment available in credit cards and debit cards. With this method, you can pay for services and goods by simply holding the card near a payment terminal or a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reader. Such terminals process the payment through a chip card.

This payment method has been around since the 1990s, with only a few establishments using the technology during that time[2]. Nowadays, more merchants and retailers offer contactless payment for their customers around the world.

Other contactless payment solutions that are becoming more widely used are digital wallets such as GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay. These options require using a mobile app to pay for products and services.

How Do Contactless Payments Work?

How Contactless Payment Works in the Philippines

To pay using your contactless credit card or debit card, tap the card on the merchant’s payment terminal. The terminal will beep once the payment is accepted. Unlike credit cards, you don’t have to sign anything when using this payment option. However, how much you can spend may be limited, depending on your bank.

To use your smartphone for contactless payments, download a payment app such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, and link your credit/debit card on the app.

You can also use digital wallets for your purchases. GCash, PayMaya, or GrabPay are some of the most popular digital wallets in the country. To pay using your digital wallet, simply look for the merchant’s QR code and scan it using your phone.

Read more: Tap and Go: Everything You Need to Know about Contactless Credit Cards

The Importance of Contactless Payments Today

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers and establishments are rethinking ways to transact and make payments. More merchants and retailers are offering contactless payment methods to minimize contact between people. While this payment option has been around for a long time, it is more important today than ever.

By using contactless payment options, you don’t have to touch a dirty PIN pad to pay for your purchases. You can also maintain the distance between you and the cashier while you make a payment. Aside from reducing the risk of infection, contactless is much more convenient—you can tap your card and go, speeding up your check out process.

Contactless payment is another layer we can use to protect ourselves and those around us. It can make our transactions faster and safer, too.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Contactless Payments

Contactless payment can make your shopping more convenient and safer. However, it also has a few disadvantages you should know.


  • Convenience. Contactless payment offers a convenient way of paying for products and services. You don’t need to input your PIN or sign a receipt to make a payment. It is also faster as you only have to tap your contactless card to a reader or scan a merchant’s QR code when using your phone to pay.
  • Security. Your card never leaves you when making a payment, which makes stealing your data a bit harder. The EMV chip technology used in contactless cards is also more secure than the magnetic stripe card technology. Digital wallets also have built-in redundant protections. For example, you have to enter a passcode to make a payment using your digital wallet. Your credit card details are also encrypted to prevent hackers from getting your information.
  • No additional fees. Merchants offering contactless payments don’t need to pay additional fees to card companies. They only need to install card readers for this option.
  • More features. A contactless card linked to a smartphone or digital wallet has more features than a traditional card. You can view your payment history and use a pin for your protection. Some mobile wallet apps also run promos which can save you money.


  • Acceptance. While contactless payment is now widely used, not all merchants and retailers accept this mode of payment for purchases.
  • Risk of fraud. If your contactless card is stolen, it can be used for purchases without needing proof of identification or signature.
  • Purchase limit. Contactless payment options have a set limit for the amount you can spend in a day.
  • Requires internet connection. Digital wallets require an internet connection to make a payment through their apps, making this method challenging in rural areas and for individuals without an internet connection.

Contactless Payment Options in the Philippines

Here are some of the many contactless payment methods you can use for a more convenient and safer shopping experience:

Contactless Cards

Contactless Payment - Contactless Cards

  • BPI Contactless Credit Cards
    Most BPI credit cards can be used for contactless payments. Simply tap your BPI contactless credit card on a MasterCard contactless or Visa PayWave terminal to pay for your product or service. Some merchants who accept BPI contactless credit cards are Daiso, Marketplace by Rustan’s, Toby’s Estate Coffee, and Ministop.
  • CITI Visa PayWave Cards
    With a CITI Visa PayWave Card, you can enjoy cashless payment at select merchants in the country. This card is now accepted at Lucky Chinatown Cinemas, Mercury Drugstore, Eastwood Cinemas, and Newport Cinemas.
  • HSBC Contactless Credit and Debit Cards
    No need to swipe if you own an HSBC contactless debit/credit card. Transactions worth PHP 2,000 and below also don’t require a PIN or signature. You can use your HSBC contactless card at various merchants such as Army Navy, BonChon, Sbarro, and Jamba Juice.
  • Metrobank Contactless Credit Cards
    You can use your Metrobank contactless credit card to pay for a product or service at select merchants and establishments nationwide. Some of these establishments are Ace Hardware, Jollibee, Landers, and Forever 21. For payments over PHP 2,000, you may be required a PIN or signature.
  • PayMaya Contactless Cards
    You can get a Visa or MasterCard contactless card via PayMaya for only PHP 200. The card is prepaid, so you have to cash-in funds to enjoy contactless payments at various shops in the country. You can also link your contactless card to your PayMaya app to track your transaction history and balance.

Contactless Payment Apps

Contactless Payment - Cashless Payment Apps

  • BanKO
    BanKO is a mobile wallet dubbed as the first and only mobile-based savings bank in the country. It allows you to shop, buy mobile load, and pay bills using your phone. You can also make local and international remittances and send money to another BanKO account holder via app.
    This mobile wallet lets you make online payments, load your Beep card, or buy digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ripple. You also don’t need a bank account to use the app. offers services like bills payments, remittances, and online shopping at more than 100,000 merchants accepting digital currencies.
  • Globe GCash
    GCash is available for online and offline payments. The app allows you to pay for for services and products by simply using a QR code). You can also link your GCash account to PayPal to transfer funds.
  • GrabPay
    GrabPay a virtual prepaid card available in the Grab app. You can share your credits or link your credit/debit cards for cashless payments. You can pay for Grab services such asGrabCar, GrabFood, and GrabExpress using this digital wallet.
  • PayPal
    PayPal is one of the most popular digital wallets worldwide. Creating an account is easy and free. You can link your card and add funds to your PayPal wallet to start making purchases online.
  • PayMaya
    PayMaya allows users to shop and pay bills virtually. You can also use the app to book flights, buy games, and stream music. It has a scan to pay feature that you can use to pay for a product or service at partner merchants.

Read more:

Final Thoughts

Contactless payment is a great payment alternative when purchasing products and services. It is faster and more secure than using a traditional card with magnetic stripes. While this payment method is not yet available in most local establishments, the use of contactless payment has become more popular in recent times.

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