Contactless Credit & Debit Cards

Breaking down the latest in secure payment technology

There are so many ways to pay with your credit card these days. So should you swipe, dip or tap? 

Contactless cards are the latest way to pay at the register. And with contactless, the card doesn’t have to touch the card reader at all.

Contactless cards work a lot like mobile wallets. The transaction is completed by simply holding or tapping the card on a contactless-enabled card reader. 

Contactless credit and debit cards are nothing new in places like Europe, Australia and Canada, and over the past few years, the U.S. has also embraced the technology. In fact, many of Capital One’s U.S.-issued credit cards and debit cards now feature this technology. This includes popular credit cards like Savor, SavorOne, Quicksilver, QuicksilverOne, Journey and Platinum, as well as 360 Checking debit cards. 

To check if your Capital One card is contactless, just look for the contactless symbol on the back of your card.

A person holding a Capital One Mastercard showing the contactless symbol on the back.

Before you step up to the register with one of these cards, learn more about the benefits of going contactless.

Benefits of Having a Contactless Card

Contactless credit and debit cards can make checking out quick and easy: The tap-and-go process usually takes less than a second, which is quicker than inserting or dipping a chip card—and way faster than using cash. And contactless cards are just as secure as a chip card at a chip-enabled register. 

Contactless transactions are like chip card transactions. Each contactless transaction creates a unique, one-time code or password. This reduces security risks since the code can’t be used again—and it can be read only by the card-processing network. This is more secure than a magnetic stripe because data from “magstripes” can be easily captured and duplicated

How Do Contactless Credit and Debit Cards Work?

Contactless cards use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. This allows the card to communicate with the card reader when the card is held near the reader during a transaction. 

Contactless cards also come with an EMV chip and the usual credit or debit card number, expiration date, security code and magnetic stripe. This gives cardholders a variety of options at the register. So if a store doesn’t have contactless readers, you can still swipe your card or use the chip reader. 

When you hold your contactless card to the contactless reader, it securely authenticates your card information. Then the merchant’s point of sale system sends the transaction to the card issuer, like Capital One. The issuer then analyzes the transaction before approving it.

That might seem like a lot of steps—but just a second or two will pass between the time you tap the card on the reader and when you receive approval.

How Do I Use a Contactless Credit or Debit Card?

Whether you’re using Visa® or Mastercard®, contactless payments work the same way. Here’s how to use a contactless credit card:

  1. Look for the contactless symbol. The four curved lines should appear on your card and the merchant’s terminal. 
  2. When prompted, hold the card within one to two inches of the contactless symbol.
  3. If your purchase is approved, you’ll receive confirmation—typically a beep, green light or check mark.

Once you know how to use contactless credit and debit cards, it takes just a few seconds to complete the payment process.

Where Can I Use My Contactless Credit or Debit Card?

From grocery stores and fast food restaurants to convenience stores and gas stations, thousands of merchants across the country now support contactless technology. And public transit in cities like Chicago, Miami, New York City and Portland let riders pay fares using contactless cards, too. 

Are Contactless Credit and Debit Cards Right for You?

Whether you’re paying with a credit card or a debit card, contactless is the newest way to make speedy, secure purchases at your favorite stores. If you’re looking for a faster checkout experience and more peace of mind at the register, a contactless card could be a great addition to your wallet. 

Check to see which merchants support contactless payments in your area with Mastercard’s handy contactless locator, and try tapping today to check out faster and more securely than ever.

Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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