Contactless payments, what are the pros and cons?

Contactless technology allows you to make fast and secure payments by simply tapping your card on a contactless enabled point of sale device without using a pin. This is made possible by an embedded chip in cards which emits radio waves. An antenna is built into the plastic to secure the connection with a contactless reader. This is known as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. What are the advantages and disadvantages of contactless payment systems and transactions?


  • Tapping to pay is faster and convenient. This technological innovation makes it possible for a customer to pay without even removing the card from the wallet.
  • When tied to a smart phone, such as the Google smartphone, contactless technology offers many features such as remote deactivation, virtual card provisioning as well as further room for innovation.
  • You can make contactless payments by using a mobile phone or smart watch.
  • The chip, set in contactless cards, is almost perfect protection against intruders, providing the maximum security against potential theft of funds. Unlike magnetic strips, built-in microprocessor keeps your details in a fully encrypted form.


  • This innovation is yet to be implemented in many commercial places; this therefore means making transactions and purchasing goods is still limited.
  • Because this innovation doesn’t require a PIN, it means that it’s less secure than chip and pin cards.
  • The small limit set by banking institutions such as Absa on “tap ‘n go” transactions between R200 and R500 may prove inconvenient for shoppers with big shopping lists.

With all the advantages and disadvantages, contactless payment systems and cards provide an option worth considering.

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