Contactless debit cards, Contactless credit cards: As we move towards a digital economy, the ease with one can do the daily activities is becoming simpler day by day. One of such facilities is the usage of wireless technology in banking. Contactless cards are advanced version of the traditional debit/credit cards providing more security with user friendly usage options.
What are contactless credit cards?
As the name suggests, these contactless debit/credit cards do not require direct contact between the card and the terminal unlike in the case of normal cards. These cards work based on near-field communication (NFC) technology, which employs radio transmission to ascertain contact when the cards are tapped or waved near a terminal. Customers can make payments by waving or tapping the cards instead of swiping them. The risk of handing over your card to the merchants is avoided. However, one can also use them in the traditional way of swiping.
What are the requisites?
These cards have an embedded computer chip called a radio frequency identification, or RFID, tag. When the card is waved or tapped near a terminal, radio transmission is used to establish the contact between the chip and merchant’s terminal to make payments using contactless debit/credit cards. So, the merchant’s terminal should be equipped enough support Contactless signals by receiving radio signals.
How advantageous are they?
- In a way that the cards are not handed over to the merchant, these cards are more secure than the traditional cards by avoiding possible skimming when it is given to the merchant.
- The speed at which the transaction processing takes place is much faster than normal cards
- The maximum transaction value for a contactless transaction is capped at Rs 2000 by most of the banks in India. So, they have to be used by swiping in case of bigger amounts.
- These cards work within a range of 4 cm of the terminal where the payment is to be processed. Also, they have to be swapped at the designated point of the merchant’s terminal. So, you do not need to worry about automatic contacts when your card is out in your hands.
- There’s no chance of duplicate transactions happening as the beep sound and receipt are delivered as soon as the payment is made. Given the faster speed of processing, chances of duplicate payments are remote.
List of banks in India that provide contactless cards:
|State Bank of India||Axis Bank||DBS|
|HDFC Bank||IndusInd Bank||Citibank|
|ICICI||IDBI Bank||Canara Bank|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||Standard Chartered Bank||Bank of Baroda|
How secured they are?
Though the banks say that these are much secured, the experience of the users in developed countries says otherwise. In the west such as USA and Canada where these cards have been in use from much before, it is said that the risk of contactless cards being exposed to hackers is as same as traditional cards out in the market. Cyber security experts in US have said that these cards are always posed to the risk of frauds and the banks are merely focusing on risk control.