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Contactless cards - your questions answered

What is contactless?

Contactless is a fast and easy way to pay for goods and services up to £30 without entering a PIN. Contactless cards work with a contactless reader to securely transmit purchase information. All you have to do is touch your contactless card onto the contactless reader to make the payment.

How do I know if my card is contactless?

Contactless logo

If you see this symbol on your card it means the card comes with contactless technology.

How does contactless technology benefit me?

It’s faster and easier than other types of payment:

  • You don’t have to enter your PIN for payments of £30 and under. Sometimes, as a security measure, you will be asked for your PIN.
  • You’re in control because your card never has to leave your hand when you make a payment at the reader.
How do I use my contactless card?

Look out for the contactless symbol when shopping for purchases of £30 and under.

Tell the retailer you'd like to use your contactless card and simply touch it directly onto the card reader. Lights on the reader will indicate when payment is complete.

Where can I use my contactless card?

Contactless logo

You can use your contactless card wherever you see the contactless symbol

Find out who accepts contactless near you

Do I have to use contactless?

No. Contactless technology is an additional feature on your card. However, it’s up to you to choose how you want to pay.

How do I get a contactless credit card?

If you’re a new credit card customer you’ll automatically receive a contactless card.

If you’re an existing customer with a MasterCard credit card we’ll send you a contactless card automatically when your current card expires, or if it need replaced because it’s lost, stolen or damaged.

Existing customers with a Visa credit card won’t receive a contactless card.

Is there a limit on the value of goods I can purchase with my contactless card?

You can use your contactless card to pay for items of £30 and under. For purchases over £30, you need to pay using chip and PIN.

How do I know when the payment has been made?

The card reader will indicate that the payment has been made – a light, beep or indicator will let you know the payment has been successful.

Will I get a receipt for my transaction?

If you would like a receipt to confirm the contactless transaction, just ask the merchant when you pay.

This may not be directly available in some circumstances; for example, paying for travel by tapping your card on an electronic ticket reader, or using a contactless card at a vending machine.

How close does my card need to be to the reader?

We recommend that you touch the card to the reader, and take the card out of your wallet or purse before you use it.

Can I use contactless to get cashback or cash out at an ATM?

No. You need to use your PIN for these transactions.

What happens if I try to make a contactless payment for more than the contactless limit?

You will be asked to make a chip and PIN transaction for additional security.

Can I use my contactless card abroad?

Yes, but the contactless transaction limit of £30 may vary depending on local limits — it may be more or less.

Are there any fees for paying with contactless?

No, there are no additional fees for using your contactless card.

Will contactless payments be treated as a cash transaction on a credit card?

No, these transactions will be treated as any other purchases on your credit card unless the underlying transaction is usually treated as cash - such as currency purchases.

Can a contactless card be used over the phone or online?

You can use a contactless card as a normal credit card to make a payment over the phone or online.

Is contactless technology secure?

Yes. It uses secure encryption technology (the same as Chip and PIN) so you can feel confident when using it. There’s a maximum amount for a contactless transaction of £30. For added protection, from time to time, you may be asked to enter your PIN to verify you are the genuine card holder.

If your card is lost or stolen, you’re protected against fraud loss so long as you report it to us as soon as possible.

Can I be charged more than once for the same transaction if I pay using a contactless card?

No. Once you have touched your card on the card reader to pay for that transaction, the transaction is cleared from the terminal and it will appear on your statement. The terminal is tested to only read one card at a time for each transaction.

You may be asked to try your contactless card again if the first attempt to pay was unsuccessful but you only pay for a transaction once.

Could I unknowingly make a purchase as I walk past a contactless card reader?

No. The retailer must have entered the amount for you to approve first, and then your card has to be held within a few centimetres of the terminal for no longer than half a second.

I carry more than one contactless card, which one will be used if I tap my wallet or purse to the contactless card reader?

We don’t recommend touching your wallet against the reader as you may have more than one contactless card.

If more than card one is placed on the reader, the terminal will ask you to ‘please present one card only’. You will then need to select your chosen card and touch the card again for the payment to be complete.

How do contactless payments for travel work?

Where the transit operator displays the contactless logo, you can use your contactless card to pay for travel.

To pay with contactless, simply touch the reader - as soon as you hear the beep, and / or see a light, you’re able to travel.

Do I have a daily limit when I use my contactless card to pay for travel?

No. You just need to have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the fare.

I touched my contactless payment card on the reader and there was a warning light, what does this mean?

This means that you can’t use that contactless card to pay for your intended travel. You’ll have to choose another contactless card or pay for your travel using other means. You can ask your travel operator what is the best way that you can pay for your travel.

Is there any chance that payments may be taken twice from my account?

No. Contactless card readers are only able to make one transaction at a time. As a safeguard, each transaction must be complete or void before another can take place.

Could my card details be intercepted during a payment?

Contactless only works when a card is within a few centimetres of the card reader. This makes it virtually impossible for any details to be intercepted while in use.

If my card is lost or stolen, can the person that finds it use it repeatedly?

If someone makes several contactless payments in a row, they may be prompted to enter the card's PIN for security validation. Contactless transactions are further protected by the fact that they can only be made on items of £30 or under.

If your card is lost or stolen please let us know immediately and we'll cancel and replace it.

What should I do if my contactless credit card has been lost or stolen?

Let us know right away by calling 0800 678 3320. We’re open 24 hours.

If anyone has fraudulently used your contactless card, as long as you’ve kept your details safe, you’ll not be responsible for any losses.

Should I be concerned about the security of contactless payment cards?

No. Contactless card transactions are processed through the same secure networks used for all transactions. Your card never leaves your hand and each transaction has a unique, encrypted code that changes every time the card is used.

Security features include:

  • Short range - Contactless cards only work within a short range of a card reader, which makes it difficult for criminals to gain access to card information from a distance.
  • Encryption - Contactless cards use secure international chip standards and advanced cryptography. During a transaction, the card and the terminal communicate with each other doing security checks and transmitting a unique security code which expires after the transaction is finished.
  • Limited information - The information transmitted during a contactless transaction is very limited and includes things like language preference, card number and other coding. Your name, account number and the security code aren’t transmitted.
  • Low transaction limits - Contactless cards have low transaction limits of £30. If your card is lost or stolen, this will prevent large purchases from being made. You'll still get the same fraud protection as you get from Chip and Pin transactions.
What if I don’t want a contactless card?

Contactless cards are a secure and convenient way to pay for small value transactions up to £30.

You should discuss any concerns about using a contactless card with your branch, relationship manager or telephone banking team.