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What are Contactless card payments?

Understand how to make fast and secure payments on your card with one simple touch.


What is Contactless?

Contactless is a fast, easy and secure way to pay, for purchases costing £30 and under. Contactless payments are becoming increasingly common on a range of devices including:

  • Pre-paid, debit, charge and credit cards
  • Stickers
  • Key fobs
  • Wearable devices, such as watches and wristbands
  • Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets

Look for the contactless symbol or either the front or the back of your card to see if you can make contactless payments.

Contactless image

How do Contactless card payments work?

The underlying technology for all of these devices is the same. The contactless device contains an antenna so that when it is touched against a contactless terminal, it securely transmits purchase information.

Typically, transactions must be £30 and under, however, contactless payments for over £30 can be processed if your device supports it. For larger transactions, you will need to first verify yourself on your device. For example, if you use a smartphone payment app you may be able to verify yourself through a passcode or your fingerprint before completing your purchase.

Similarly, Contactless devices, apart from cards, will not necessarily have a contactless indicator on them, and may require you to activate them. For example, you may have to activate your payment app using a passcode or your fingerprint.

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