the same way as traditional payments such as debit cards and credit cards. However, instead of depending on you inserting a chip or swiping, you typically hold a card near a sensor.
This transmission of payment data comes with both pros and cons, though. Before you choose to switch your cards to contactless options, you should make sure you know what risks and advantages you are taking on.
What are the Advantages?
First, let’s take a look at the good news. What are some of the advantages of using contactless payments?
Anyone who’s ever used a card with a chip can tell you that it takes a while. You have to insert your card, wait a few moments, and then take it out when a little alarm sounds. This can make simple transactions take longer than necessary to carry out.
With a contactless payment card, all you have to do is wave your card and the payment goes through! At most, you will have to take an extra security step such as entering your PIN to complete the transaction.
Contactless payment cards take several steps to ensure that your information is safe. Particularly, it’s designed to prevent fraud. To use a contactless payment card, you have to use the card just centimeters away from the terminal. In addition, there is no way to copy a contactless payment card just from the information seen on the front of it while you pay.
What are the Disadvantages?
Of course, it isn’t all good news when it comes to contactless payment cards. Just like with anything else, it’s important that you take these disadvantages into account.
1. It Isn’t Widely Accepted
When it comes down to it, the fact is that contactless payment cards are rather new. As such, not every store you go to will have accommodated this new technology just yet. So, when you’re on your weekly grocery run or grabbing a coffee before work, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to use your contactless payment card at checkout. As time goes on, this disadvantage will likely diminish.
2. Theft is More Dangerous
We noted earlier that you might be asked for your PIN when making a purchase. However, this is typically reserved for when you spend above a certain amount within a period of time. In other words, you can usually spend a certain amount without being asked this security feature.
This can be a danger if your card gets lost or stolen because the thief can then spend a certain amount of money before they are confronted with security features. These limits are usually set fairly low to prevent large monetary losses but if you notice your card is missing, be sure to shut it off right away. In most cases, reporting your card right away will prevent you having to pay for fraudulent use.
There is also the concern of people stealing information with portable terminals. While this is technically possible in crowded environments, this situation can be prevented with the use of an RFID wallet.