How does ‘pay and go’ work?

If you’re due to receive a new bankcard this year, you may notice that it looks slightly different to your previous issue. Card providers are embracing the use of contactless technology for processing payments, but what does this mean for you?

Contactless technology is the new, fast way to pay and go.  Transactions under $100 can be paid for by a simple tap or wave of your card.  Contactless cards work by way of a radio antenna embedded in the plastic which transmits information to and from the contactless checkout terminal.  Your contactless card can be used at the participating merchants who display the contactless symbols below.

Contactless payment is intended to help you make purchases under $100 quickly and conveniently.  All you need to do is hold your card against the terminal, no pressing of buttons – the transaction is automatically processed from your account.  If you are worried that a transaction could be recorded by just walking past a terminal, rest assured that your contactless card needs to be within 4cm of the contactless terminal and held for more than half a second and the merchant must have first entered the amount into the terminal for your approval.  Your card provider has policies to protect you against any unauthorised transactions, provided you have abided by the terms of the policy.  If you are unsure what your card provider’s policy is regarding unauthorised transactions, it is best to check with your provider for peace of mind.

Here’s how it works:

1. Check that your card has the PayPass or payWave logo.

2. Let the merchant know you would like to pay using your contactless card and whether you would like a receipt.

3. When the transaction amount is shown on the terminal, hold your card against the contactless symbol.

4. The terminal will indicate your transaction is approved. 

5. Collect your receipt – simple as that!

For more information on ‘pay and go’ technology, download the factsheet from the Financial Ombudsman Service.