What Are Contactless Cards and How do They Work?

If you are like many consumers, you may have noticed a change in your debit or credit card – it may now come with a contactless payment option. And while contactless payment has been around for a few years, many people still do not understand what a contactless debit card is or how they work. Here are some commonly asked questions about contactless cards and payments, so you can feel more confident next time you’re using your card.

What Are Contactless Debit Cards?

A contactless debit card is a card that uses radio frequency identification technology and near-field communication (NFC) to process transactions, allowing you to hover or tap your contactless card over a terminal and complete a transaction.

Contactless payments, which can be described as a “no-touch” transaction, means that when you go to the store or gas station you are able to complete the transaction without having to swipe, insert your card, and in some cases, physically touch the terminal.

How Do I Use a Contactless Cards?

While many stores refer to contactless payment as “tap to pay,” no tapping is actually needed. Instead, you simply place your card within a few inches of a payment terminal to initiate payment.

It may take a second or two for the transaction to complete, so don’t pull your card away too quickly. Once the terminal beeps, displays a green checkmark or flashes a green light, then your transaction is complete.

How Do I Know if I have a Contactless Cards?

The best way to know if you have a contactless card is to look for the contactless symbol on the back or front of your card. If you are at a retailer that also offers contactless payment, the same symbol will appear on a card terminal, indicating that you can hover your card over the terminal to complete the transaction.

Are Contactless Cards Secure?

Yes, contactless cards are very secure. Similar to using a digital wallet, contactless debit cards create a one-time code for each transaction that takes place. So, in the instance that your debit card number is in a data breach, fraudsters would not have access to your actual debit card number, just the one-time code, so your hard-earned money stays safe and secure.

Another added security benefit to using a contactless card is that you are less susceptible to card skimmers. Utilizing a contactless card means you are less likely to insert your card into a chip reader where a skimmer could be hiding.

Blackhawk Bank Wants to Help You Feel More Secure

At Blackhawk Bank, we strive to protect you, your funds and your information. To learn more about how Blackhawk Bank can help you, contact us today!
To learn more about Blackhawk Bank’s contactless cards, click here!

Sarah Lee 
Marketing Content Specialist