Contactless payment refers to a method whereby the card with the facility allows the holder to pay small purchases of under 50 euro without the PIN. Contactless payment is rapid to use.
In practice, contactless payment takes place so that the card is brought to a few centimetres distance of the payment terminal, and the payment is transferred from the card to the seller. The payment terminal indicates a successful transaction by a confirmation text, green light and/or a beep.
The transaction is comparable to the use of a bus pass or an access card. In contactless payment, no PIN or signature is requested.
The car usable for contactless payment can also be use in the conventional way. In larger purchases of over 50 euro, the payment card is inserted in the payment terminal and the PIN is entered in the traditional way.
Safety of contactless paying
Contactless payments are based on a chip which guarantees the safety of the transaction. The contactless payment cards employ the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology which refers to the protected data communication between the payment card and the terminal.
The number and combined value of the contactless payments without the PIN is limited. On a regular basis, the terminal also requires the use of the PIN to confirm the purchase of 50 euro (the practices vary, some cards require that every five purchases need confirmation). This is to ensure that the card is in the hands of the correct card holder, and a card in wrong hands cannot be used to make many purchases.
The contactless features adds to the safety of paying with a card since payments made without the PIN decrease the possibility of PIN prying. With the help of contactless paying, the PIN does not end un in the hands of criminals.
Mobile pay refers to the process of paying services or product, for example, using a smartphone. Paying with a smart device is often based on card payment, in other words, the consumer has an application in their phone, with one or several cards’ data inserted. In addition to the payment card, certain services can use mobile pay applications based on the account number or telephone number.
The various mobile pay applications vary from each other, and it is advisable to read their terms and instructions with care.
Safe mobile payments
The smartphone can be used for paying in various user environments; at a grocery store cashier, online shopping or paying a sum to a friend. When using the smartphone for mobile pay purposes, the phone must be kept as safe as one would keep the payment cards.
Hints for safe mobile paying
- Choose a PIN different from those used for logging in other applications or the phone. Some applications may allow you to use your fingerprint or face recognition for login.
- Never give your phone to any strangers.
- Cover the PIN of your mobile pay application.
- Take care that your phone is always updated.
- Log out from the mobile pay application when it is not used.
Mobile pay normally requires logging in the applications, and each payment calls for a separate confirmation – this means that nobody can debit anything through you mobile pay application so that you would not be aware.
Loss of phone
If your phone is lost or stolen, it is advisable to also inform the service provider as indicated in the mobile pay application terms. This allows the service provider to block the mobile pay application, if necessary.
The card data entered in the mobile pay applications are normally partly visible only so that they cannot be pried with the application, even if someone managed to open it.
As in any form of paying with a card, it is advisable to regularly check the transactions on one’s banking account attached to the card. If you notice events that you do not recognise, you should contact your own bank.
Online payments refers to purchases made using the browser of the computer or a smartphone. The purchases can be made in stores supporting strong electronic identification, or outside the strong identification features.
Whatever the store you are shopping in or the terminal in use, please remember these pieces of advice:
Before placing an order
- Read the delivery and return terms with care, also the part in small print. The terms and conditions must be available on the seller’s site.
- Check that the seller’s address data is available in the online store and save them for eventual product returns. If no address details are given, you should have certain reservations regarding this online store. Write down the www address of the store.
- Read the seller’s site for information about delivery costs as well as currencies they might accept, plus any taxes added.
At the moment of the purchase
- Save or print the seller’s description in their site about the products bought and the payment terms, which you need to accept to place the order.
- Accept the payment by entering your card number and validity period on the www form, and the proceed as instructed by the seller. If the store uses strong electronic identification, at this point you will be transferred, e.g., to your online bank for recognition.
- Save or print the receipt potentially given by the seller for accepted payment.
- Keep the saved or printed details for later checks and comparisons.
Most sellers (e-tailers) send an order confirmation to the customer’s email – but sometimes they end up in the spam file.
The card is a safe method of payment in all online paying, provided you use it as carefully as you would do in any other business or shopping.
- Never provide your card number or PIN to anyone by email.
- If you do not intend to buy anything, never give your card details for polls or similar requests for information.
- Never give your card data based on an e-mail or other notifications sent to you, announcing a surprising win or prize in a lottery, asking for the card details for cashing in the prize.
- If you order an ongoing service online and use your card, always first find out how you can stop receiving the services, what would be the charge for such discontinuation notice, and how the update or renewal of your card would affect the order.
- Always save the purchase documents. They may be needed, for example, to clarify the terms and conditions of the transaction, or to prove that the goods have been paid for.
- Certain non-European online store may ask for a photocopy of the card and passport by fax, for example, to ensure that the order is placed by the real cardholder. Never give our card details in an unsecured email. If you do not provide the requested details, the store will probably not send the products.
- If possible, make the purchases on sites that support strong electronic identification (Verified by Visa/MasterCard Secure Code).
- If the site does not support strong electronic identification, please ensure that the details of your card are encrypted appropriately before the details are sent online. Please check that the bottom of the browser windows shows an integral key or closed lock and the browser address line reads https:// instead of just http:.
- Take a critical attitude to all tempting offers and other information you might find online, if they sound too good to be true.
- Please read about the possibilities to manage online payment provided by your own bank.