Expert View

Contactless payments advice

12 July 2018

Contactless payments with credit and debit cards, smartphones and other devices have doubled over the last 12 months. Consumers love the speed and convenience they offer and the majority have high levels of confidence that this is a secure way to pay for goods and services.

In October 2017, Visa introduced a zero authorisation limit in order to address some of the potential security issues found with contactless. The majority of terminals have applied this change to MasterCard as well.

As a result of this amendment, you may have noticed an increase in the time taken for contactless payments to process. Every payment is now  authorised online, whether it’s for 99p or £30. It is important to bear in mind that payment has not yet been authorised at the point when you hear the beep. You should wait for the authorisation message to be displayed before signing off the transaction with the customer.

If you do not wait for the transaction to be authorised and the customer walks away, there is a risk of the payment being declined, leaving you out of pocket.

There are many benefits to accepting contactless payments including:

Once you are contactless-enabled, you are also able to accept Apple Pay, which is treated by the terminal as a normal contactless card. The transaction receipt will appear on the Apple device once the transaction is completed.

The additional exciting part of Apple Pay is the ability to pay for items costing more than £30 using the contactless method. This is designated as a High Value Payment and needs a secondary authentication method-either a thumb print or PIN on the device itself. For these transactions, the card issuer carries the risk and not the retailer.

Secondary authentication is known as Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method (CDCVM) and is considered by the bank as equivalent to Chip and PIN authentication.

An important part of Apple Pay is that the card number is not used or stored. Instead, a form of tokenisation is used to keep the information safe. If an iPhone is lost or stolen, the Apple Pay element is cancelled, not the card information registered to the device.

For more information about Apple Pay there is some good information on the Visa website.

Currently contactless can be accepted on HTEC’s Gempay 2 and their latest generation Gempay 3, the latest Sagepay software on Oracle, Point Four and CBE systems along with the standalone Sagepay Vx820 terminal.

The HTEC HydraPOS also accepts contactless through the GPS payment switch.

Please contact your POS provider if you don’t currently have contactless and would like it enabled.

For more information, visit our card services page to expand your knowledge, or get in touch with any further information that you wish to know.

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