Using a contactless card machine allows businesses to accept more payments (and more types of payments) and manage transactions more effectively than relying on card machines.
Despite the huge benefits that using a contactless card machine brings, some business owners (and customers) remain concerned about the security of card payments.
It’s lower than the 52% of customers who had concerns about card payments back in 2018, but the fear hasn’t gone completely.
In part these concerns have come from incorrect information circulated about the safety of card machines, and some hangovers from the early days of card payments when they weren’t properly understood.
The reality is card payments (whether chip and PIN or contactless) are incredibly safe, and are only getting more secure.
The newest update in card payment security has been the rise in two-factor authentication.
Although it sounds technical, it simply adds an additional security step for customers to complete before a transaction is authorised.
It’s already been in use for contactless card payments.
You’ve probably seen (and experienced) a customer being asked to enter their PIN when trying to complete a contactless payment.
This happens after a certain number of transactions to ensure it’s the owner of the card who’se using it.
More recently, with increasing numbers of customers using smartphones for payments, customers are being asked to do a facial scan or other biometric scan (like a fingerprint) in order to confirm they’re trying to make the purchase.
And now when making payments online, some banks require customers to log-in to their mobile app and authorise the payment there before returning to the business’ website to complete the purchase.
Are contactless payments with a card fully secure?
Another thing to consider about contactless payment security is that payment cards come with security features built in.
One of the biggest fears about contactless cards, was that criminals could use a device close to the customer’s card to steal money. But these are not something to be too concerned about.
Contactless cards use NFC technology, which uses short-wave radio signals to “communicate” with the payment machine when the card is placed close to the device.
In order to work the card needs to be placed extremely close to the device to go through, so the chances of a criminal intercepting transactions without you noticing are slim.
Plus, many wallets and bags now come with NFC blocking technology, which stops the signal from transmitting when the card is stored.
And then there’s the fact that card transactions are encrypted, so even if a criminal did manage to somehow intercept a transaction, they wouldn’t be able to understand the information or use it.
Are contactless payments secure for the business?
Much of the focus on card payment security falls on the safety of the customer – with good reason.
But it shouldn’t be overlooked that card machines are also much safer for shop owners than using cash.
First, transactions are only approved when a customer has the money in their account. If they don’t have the money to pay for the item, the transaction won’t go through.
This means there’s no chance of accepting a payment only to see it declined later on.
It also means you won’t be the victim of fake money scams, which are common and easy to fall for when you’re busy. If you fall for a scam like this involving fake cash, there’s no way of recovering any money – you’ve simply lost out.
Contactless card machines create a transparent audit trail of every transaction taken on the day.
So if you ever do have an issue, it’s easy to see where the problem may be.
Not to mention, accepting contactless card payments stops you from needing to store large amounts of cash on-site (which can make you a prime target for criminals).
Ultimately, contactless and card machines give you peace of mind that every transaction you take on your device is fully secure for both you and the customer.
Security is only getting better when it comes to card payments
With two factor authentication and biometric features becoming more common for card and digital payments, the security behind card payments is only improving.
Whether it’s on a card in store, a mobile wallet on a smart device, or a payment made online or over the phone, card transactions have high levels of security built in to ensure both you and your customers are kept as secure as possible.