You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Out On If You Don’t Use Contactless Payments

The use of contactless payments (or NFC Technology) in the United States is still in its infancy. Most people are familiar with this form of payment from using Apple Pay or Android Pay. We’re still at the point where people pull out their phone or use a watch to pay at the checkout and still have a look of amazement about this magical ability to pay with just a device.

What if I told you that it’s not necessary to fumble around with your phone or supinate your wrist to tap a watch to a reader in order to use contactless payments?

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Banks are adding contactless technology to cards and many stores have contactless enabled card readers. So what are you waiting for?Card

The Wave symbol. Your key to contactless payments.

After spending a week in London, we discovered that contactless is everywhere. You can tap your card to use the London Underground (and get the lowest fare). You can tap your card to buy your breakfast at Pret A Manger or to get some essentials at Boots. Every little purchase only takes a tap of a card and a few seconds. Compare this to how long it takes to complete a chip transaction or the fumbling to pay with a mobile device and you immediately see the appeal for this payment type.

All you need now is a card issued by a bank that supports this technology and the list keeps getting longer.

AMERICAN EXPRESS

American Express offers contactless cards for many of their products, even the metal cards like AMEX Gold and AMEX Platinum. I found someone who took pictures of the plain and contactless versions of each card on Reddit.

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If you want a contactless card from AMEX, you’ll need to contact them. New and replacement cards often ship with this technology, like when we received our new SPG Luxury card.

Contactless chip is currently available on the majority of Consumer products and on select Small Business products. You can watch the video to see contactless technology in action. If you have further questions or would like to request a contactless chip Card, please call the number on the back of your Card to speak to a Customer Care Professional.

CHASE

Chase was one bank that did not offer contactless for their card portfolio, until December 2018 when they did.

Currently Available

Coming in 2019

If you would like to replace an existing Chase card with a contactless card, call the phone number on the back of your card.

CITI

Citi currently only offers contactless tech on the Costco Anywhere card.

WELLS FARGO

Wells Fargo announced they are going to be issuing all new credit cards with contactless technology. Their debit cards will also feature this technology starting in the summer of 2019. This will coincide with the ability to tap your card at a Wells Fargo ATM to make cash withdrawals. Current cardholders will be issued contactless cards their current card expires.

CAPITAL ONE

Per Capital One’s website, they do issue contactless cards but there’s no list of which cards are available with the technology. I’d say to look at your card to see if it’s already there or call the number on the back of your card and hope the customer rep knows what you’re talking about.

OTHER BANKS

Bank of America, Barclays and Discover currently do not offer contactless technology for any of their card offerings.

Final Thoughts

One driver for banks to release contactless cards in the U.S. is the upcoming rollout of contactless payments for rides on the New York Transit system. Now that New York, Chicago and Portland’s mass transit systems are contactless, an easy way to get your card to the top of someone’s wallet is to have them pay for their subway rides with your card and to do that, you need to be contactless.

Personally, I never saw contactless payments as more than a novelty. However, after using it for a week, I’m a convert (Note from Sharon: Me too!). It’s just so much easier and faster than other ways to pay, particularly for small charges.  I’ve found myself using it more at home, choosing a card with the technology over one that doesn’t have it. Come to think of it, I should get our American Express Everyday Preferred cards upgraded. That would be an easy way to get our 30 charges per month required to earn the 50% bonus miles.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

3 thoughts on “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Out On If You Don’t Use Contactless Payments”

  1. US banks are so far behind the rest of the world in such technologies. It was only a year or two age you guys entered the world of the chip on credit cards. In other countries, including up here in Canada, we had those chips since the dawn of this century. And we’ve had “tap and pay” for many years (though I notice the symbol no longer appears on the renewal Mastercard I received yesterday, likely because we accept all our card do this). In fact, I recall my first tap and pay transaction was at a sushi bar in Tokyo many, many years before I even used it in Canada. I was about to swipe my card when I heard a beep and the paper receipt started to come out. Back in the early 80s, while North America was still using physical embossing machines to record credit card purchases, I was handled a small device in a remote chateau hotel in France into which I swiped my card!

    1. I’m not worried. NFC payments work on such a close in field that the person would need to be right on top of you. Even if they did manage to skim your information, it’s questionable how useful it would be because contactless, and chip, transactions generate a single use code for each payment. Even if they were able to gather the info, there’s not much they could do with it. big picture speaking.

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