Contactless Credit Card Payments

If you have received a new Visa or MasterCard recently, you may have noticed that they have some new logos on the front of the card.

The new logos refer to the contactless payment technology released by both card companies. Visa uses the term payWave whilst MasterCard calls theirs PayPass.

The idea of contactless payments is to make the payment process quicker and easier when making in store purchases.

What Are Contactless Payments?

Contactless payments allow you to make purchases in store of up to $100 without having to swipe your card, enter your PIN or provide a signature.

When making a purchase at a participating store you simply touch your card against the reader and you’re done.

Using your credit card with Visa payWave or MasterCard PayPass means you can get through the checkout quicker to enjoy your new purchases.


It is only natural that some people will question the security of a card that can be used without a PIN or signature.

Visa and MasterCard are aware of the danger of credit card theft and fraud, and both have put in place a number of measures to ensure the security of their contactless payment cards.

Both Visa and MasterCard have a zero liability policy in place. Whilst there are some important terms and conditions that apply, it basically means that provided you have taken all care and precautions for your card, you will not be liable for any unauthorised contactless payments.

Both card companies have also developed complex fraud fighting systems designed to protect your card from fraudulent use. Even before you realise that your card is missing, they may have already detected suspicious activity and placed a hold on your card.

The use of contactless payment technology actually increases the security of your card, as the card stays in your hands at all times and does not need to be handed to anyone else for a payment to be made.

In the past there have been scams that ‘skim’ the details from a credit card when it is swiped through a machine. With contactless payments there is no ability for someone to skim your card.

Where is it Available?

Virtually all banks and other financial institutions in Australia can now issue a Visa or MasterCard with contactless payment technology integrated into the card.

In terms of where you can use the card the list of retailers and venues is not huge at this stage, but it is growing rapidly as the technology becomes more widespread and popular.

Future Developments

Visa and MasterCard, along with the Australian banks they partner with, are constantly researching new ways of improving the payment options for Australians.

Some of the banks are now looking at services that allow you use your mobile phone in the same way that you use a contactless credit card.

As time goes by the credit card providers will continually improve their payment systems to make life easier for us as well as improving the security of our payment and our personal details.

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