Contactless payments are transactions made by tapping either a contactless chip card or payment-enabled mobile or wearable device over a contactless-enabled payment terminal. Cards, phones, watches and other devices use the same contactless technology. When you tap to pay checkout is secure, convenient and touch-free.
How do I know if my card or device can make contactless payments?
Visa Contactless Chip Cards
If your Visa card features the Contactless Indicator on either the front or back, you can use it to tap to pay where you see the Contactless Symbol at many of your favorite stores.
Don’t have a contactless chip card? You can still tap to pay by loading an eligible payment card into your payment-enabled phone or wearable device.
How to tap to pay
Check for the Contactless Symbol on the store's checkout terminal.
When prompted, bring your card or device within a few inches of the Contactless Symbol . Depending on the terminal, you may tap on, above, or below the screen.
Your payment is securely processed in seconds. Once your payment is confirmed, you’re good to go!
Benefits of Contactless Payments
Contactless payment security
Tapping to pay with your Visa contactless chip card or payment-enabled mobile/wearable device is a secure way to pay because each transaction generates a transaction-specific, one-time code, that is extremely effective in reducing counterfeit fraud.
To make a payment, your contactless chip card or payment-enabled mobile/wearable device must be placed within 2 inches of the Contactless Symbol located on the checkout terminal in order for the transaction to take place (so you can’t pay accidentally).
Tapping to pay uses short-range wireless technology to make secure payments between a contactless card or payment-enabled device and a contactless-enabled checkout terminal. When you tap your card or device near the Contactless Symbol, your payment is sent for authorization.
The EMVCo Contactless Indicator* indicates acceptance. When featured on a card, it means the card can be used to tap to pay. When featured on a checkout terminal, it means a merchant accepts tapping to pay.
The EMVCo Contactless Symbol* indicates where you tap your contactless card or payment-enabled device on the checkout terminal to make a payment.
You'll see the Contactless Indicator on your card. For your phone or other device.
The Wi-Fi-looking symbol on a debit or credit card is the EMVCo Contactless Indicator*. It indicates that your card can be used to tap to pay on a contactless-enabled payment terminal.
The RFID-looking symbol on a debit or credit card is the EMVCo Contactless Indicator*. It indicates that your card can be used to tap to pay on a contactless-enabled payment terminal.
Your card or device just needs to be within 1-2 inches of the Contactless Symbol to initiate a payment.
Once you are prompted to pay (by the cashier, a light on the machine, etc.), simply tap your card or device to the terminal where you see the Contactless Symbol .
You should hold your card or device to the terminal for 1-2 seconds.
No, actual tapping is not necessary.
It works best when your contactless card or device is held flat over the Contactless Symbol , versus held at an angle.
Once you are prompted to pay (by the cashier, a light on the checkout terminal, etc.), place your card or device within 1-2 inches of the Contactless Symbol on the terminal and follow the prompts.
Tapping to pay with a Visa contactless card is safe, easy and secure — perfect for places like fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, vending machines, taxis and more. Tapping to pay is also secure because just like a chip card, each transaction is accompanied by a one-time code. Unlike cash, tapping to pay provides an electronic record of your purchases and gives you all the great functionality and convenience of a Visa card.
Contact your bank by calling the number on the back of your card to inquire.
Contactless payments, including contactless Visa cards, Google Pay and Apple Pay, use the same NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Samsung Pay, however, works with both NFC technology and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology, which can be used anywhere you can swipe.
You can tap to pay where you see the Contactless Symbol on a checkout terminal. Millions of places around the world accept contactless payments, including fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, retail pharmacies, vending machines, taxis and more.
Yes. If you don’t see the Contactless Symbol on the checkout terminal, you can still insert your contactless card, just like any other Visa card.
Yes. You can tap to pay at millions of places around the world, wherever you see the Contactless Symbol. In countries like Australia, Canada, the UK and France, over half of retailers currently accept contactless payments. If tapping to pay is not available at a location, you can simply swipe or insert your Visa contactless card at checkout.
Yes. Here’s why:
Just like with a chip card, each transaction generates a one-time code.
You can’t pay accidentally—your card or device must be within 1- 2 inches of the terminal for the sale to take place register. And you won’t be billed twice, even if you accidentally tap twice.
Tapping to pay with your Visa contactless card or payment-enabled device helps you avoid touching surfaces at checkout.
The card or device securely transmits information including the account number, expiration date, and a one-time code that changes for every in-person transaction. The code is different than the code encoded on the magnetic stripe of a Visa card.
Skimming is very unlikely and limited in scope. For every contactless transaction, a transaction-specific code is created. Due to the nature of the code and additional fraud protection processes, it is difficult to use skimmed cardholder information for fraudulent purchases.
No. The technology behind tapping to pay requires the merchant to initiate the payment. Next, the contactless card or payment-enabled device must be tapped or held within 1-2 inches of the contactless-enabled terminal in order for a transaction to take place.
No. Contactless-enabled checkout terminals will only communicate with one card at a time. If you have more than one contactless card in your wallet, you should tap the individual card you want to use, rather than tap your whole wallet.
If your Visa card is lost or stolen, or you believe there has been unauthorized activity on your account, contact your issuing bank or credit union immediately. If you don’t have that contact information readily available, contact Visa and we will be able to assist you.
*The Contactless Symbol and Contactless Indicator are trademarks owned by and used with permission of EMVCo, LLC