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All you need to know about contactless debit and credit cards

May 16, 2015 09:26 IST

Banks claim contactless debit and credit cards are very secure because unlike the cards in use now, these do not have to be handed over to the merchant and so is always in one’s sight.

Axis Bank on Friday joined its peers ICICI Bank and State Bank of India by launching contactless cards.

The banks are aiming to leverage Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s guidelines which allow them to process contactless transactions below Rs 2,000 without a PIN.

Bankers say over 60 per cent of transactions on cards currently are below the threshold limit of Rs 2,000.

Here’s everything one needs to know about these cards: ALSO READ: RBI relaxes second factor authentication for contactless cards upto Rs 2,000

HOW DO THEY WORK?

These cards work on near-field communication (NFC) technology, which employs radio transmission to ascertain contact when the cards are tapped or waved near a terminal.

These enable customers to make payments by waving or tapping the cards instead of swiping them. After this, one needs to enter one’s PIN to complete the transaction.

If needed, these cards can also be used in the traditional way — by swiping or dipping.

WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?

It increases the ease and convenience of transactions.

Moreover, the speed at which the transaction can be carried out is almost double that of traditional cards.

ARE THEY SECURE?

Banks claim these cards are very secure because unlike the cards in use now, these do not have to be handed over to the merchant and so is always in one’s sight.

However, there have been skimming attacks on these cards in some countries where they had been introduced. In certain instances, fraudsters have been able to skim the data using mobile applications. But then, experts say these threats are present even in the regular cards.

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Nupur Anand
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