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Published: 13/12/2018

What is a contactless card?

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If a debit card or credit card has the symbol below, it means you can make contactless payments with it. By that, we mean that you can just tap the card against a card machine to make a payment of £30 or less. No PIN number necessary.

Contactless icon

In fact, contactless payments are now so popular that from January 2020, every bank-issued payment terminal will be enabled with the technology.

So, if you’re not doing so already, it’s a good idea to consider getting set up to take them. If you don’t, you could be missing out on potential sales.

How does contactless work?

Every contactless card has a little chip in it, which holds your bank information, and this is used every time you use your card.

This chip gives off radio waves, also called RFID technology (radio frequency identification), which are picked up by the card machines. The card and machine can then communicate with each other to process a payment.

If it’s a mobile phone or another electronic device you use to make a contactless payment, these use NFC (near field communication) technology to transmit the data instead.

Why should your business go contactless?

Fewer steps

It’s much more convenient than paying by cash or Chip and PIN, as your customers have less steps to take when they want to make a payment.

There’s no putting a card into the machine and waiting for it to be recognised, and, as we mentioned earlier, there’s no need to enter a 4-digit PIN code either.

Instead, your customers can just tap and pay. That’s it. Quick and easy.

Shorter queues

By being able to take faster payments, you can serve people much quicker too, helping to reduce queues in your premises.

Great when your working days are fast-paced, and you want to keep everything moving!

Increased spend

As it’s easier for your customers to make a payment, and as they’re not limited to the cash they have in their pocket, they’re more likely to spend more in your store.

Whilst we’re talking about spend, as you’ll have less cash on your premises, it’ll reduce cash handling costs too.

Plus, with a contactless payment, you only need to give out a receipt if the customer asks for one, so you’ll save money on till roll and ink too.


Contactless technology uses similar security features in the background to Chip and PIN, so it’s really safe.

When you take a card payment, the funds are held in your merchant account. Here, transactions are securely checked and sent to the cardholders’ bank for approval.

So long as the customer has enough funds in their account, the money will automatically be taken and sent to your business bank account, without you needing to do anything.

Your customers won’t need to worry about accidentally making a contactless payment, as contactless cards only work within a few centimetres from the machine.

Card machines also need to be enabled with contactless technology to take a payment (ours come with this enabled as standard), and a payment amount must be entered into the machine to start the payment process by the sales assistant.

They’re also protected against accidental double-taps, meaning you can’t accidentally take payments twice for the same item.

As an added level of security, a customer is limited to how many contactless payments they can make in 24 hours. So, if a card is used to make 5 contactless payments in 24-hours, they’ll be asked to enter their PIN on the fifth time to check that it’s definitely them using it.  

How to go contactless

If you want to start taking contactless payments, we can help get you set-up quickly and easily.

All of our card machines are enabled with contactless, Apple Pay and Android Pay as standard. And there’s no extra costs to worry about.

We have a range of card machines to choose from including:

  • Countertop – take payments at your till.
  • Mobile – accept payments whilst out on the road.
  • Portable – take payments from around your premises.

Our team of local payment specialists will come and meet you to discuss the best solution for you. They’ll create a personalised pricing package based on your business’ needs and your current or estimated card turnover.

There are no set-up fees when you join, and there are no exit fees if you leave at the end of your contract. Speak to us today to find out more.

Vanessa Littler Digital Marketing Executive
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