Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. For information on our cookie policy please view our Privacy Policy.

Contactless Payments

Editorial Team

4 min read

Share:

Contactless payments are a fast, secure, and hygienic way to make purchases with a debit or credit card. Read on to learn why it’s becoming an increasingly popular and advantageous payment method for you as well as your customers.

In this guide:

  • The basics: what it is and how it works
  • Advantages of contactless payment
  • Safety and hygiene considerations

What’s contactless payment and how does it work?

Contactless payment allows consumers to purchase products or services using a debit or credit without physically inserting or swiping the card into a point-of-sale device, handing the card to staff, signing their names, or entering PINs. Also called “tap-to-pay,” or “tap-and-go,” contactless payment uses either near-field communications (NFC) technologies to enable “contactless” transactions.

What are the advantages of contactless payment?

Merchants who offer contactless payments can realize the following benefits:

  • Faster transactions Customers do not need to enter a PIN or provide a signature, which allows merchants to process more transactions in less time and reduce customer wait times.
  • Greater customer satisfaction More convenient and faster transactions lead to more satisfied customers, who in turn are more likely to return and use their cards more frequently.
  • Improved operational efficiency Speedier transactions reduce the number of cashiers needed while increasing the volume of transactions per cashier.

Consumers also benefit from making contactless payments:

  • Speedy, convenient payments No need to swipe or insert cards, enter PINs, or sign.
  • Great alternative to cash and cards No more need to carry these items to make purchases.

Contactless payments are more hygienic

In addition to being faster, more convenient, and more secure, contactless technology is the most hygienic of all in-person payment options because it doesn’t require any direct contact at the point of sale. There is no need to pass cards between consumers and merchants, type PINs into keypads, or use styluses handled by multiple consumers.

How to make a contactless payment

The contactless payment symbol on POS terminals indicates that the merchant accepts contactless payments. Here’s how to make contactless payments using either a card, smartphone, or another mobile device.

Contactless payments using a card (Tap-to-pay)

Credit or debit cards enabled for contactless payment display the contactless payment symbol on the face of the card.

  • When the system signals the payment prompt, your customer should hold the card one to two inches over the contactless symbol on the terminal.
  • The system reads the card details and either accepts or declines the payment.
  • If the payment is approved, the system will play an audible beep
  • If payment is declined, the system will indicate that the transaction is “Not approved.” The customer can choose an alternative form of payment such as using a different card or paying with cash.

Contactless payments using a mobile device:

To enable contactless payments on their smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, or other mobile devices, consumers first have to link their credit cards to a payment app, also called a “mobile wallet”.

  • At the point of purchase, the customer aims the device at the terminal and brings their mobile device near the terminal’s contactless mark. Consumers with a mobile phone will need to authenticate themselves with the phone’s fingerprint and face sensor; those using a smartwatch or fitness band typically don’t need to do this.
  • The system reads the payment details and either accepts or declines the payment
  • If the payment is approved, the system will display a checkmark and/or play an audible beep
  • If payment is declined, the system will indicate that the transaction is “Not approved.” The customer can choose an alternative form of payment such as using a different card or paying with cash.

Clover accepts all types of payments

However your customers choose to pay for their purchases, Clover POS systems accept all types of contact and contactless payments.

Clover devices accept numerous ways to pay, including:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Prepaid cards
  • Gift cards
  • EBT cards
  • Custom tenders
  • Alipay®
  • WeChat Pay®

Credit and debit cards are the most popular payment methods. Many of these cards are contactless-enabled and can be simply waved over a Clover device for payment. In addition, almost all cards can be used with a Mobile Wallet, including:

  • Apple Pay®
  • Google Pay®
  • Samsung Pay®

Alipay® is a registered trademark of Alibaba Group Holding Limited in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Pay® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Google Pay® is a registered trademark of Google LLC. in the U.S. or other countries. Samsung Pay® is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. In the U.S. and other countries. WeChat Pay® is a registered trademark of Tencent Holdings Limited.

Recent Stories

Popular Topics