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The four rules of using contactless

The contactless payment system has transformed how we spend, and been a welcome alternative to cash during cautious Covid times. With spending limits due to rise from £45 to £100 in October, the simple tap-and-go system gives us both convenience and speed when shopping. But there are a few rules you should follow to make sure you don’t get caught out.

Leave it at home if funds are low

It’s effortless to use a contactless card for payments under £45 (rising to £100 in October). But that means you might not think carefully before you spend. As a result your bank balance could quickly deplete – which can be a problem if there’s a chance of overspending.

The solution is to either take cash or use Chip and Pin. Handing over coins and notes are better as you need to have enough money on you in the first place. Plus it’s been shown that handing over cash does make you think more about what you are buying.

Always check the payments

One problem with contactless is people don’t always check the amount they are charged. To avoid overcharging you should always see the terminal before the card it tapped, and then always ask for a receipt.

Then you really need to check your contactless payments against the actual charges to your bank account. Online and app banking make it much easier to track payments than ever before.

Don’t let your card out of your sight

Since you don’t need to enter a PIN or sign a bill, you don’t physically need to tap a contactless card on the reader yourself. This means sometimes the card could be taken away to a terminal to process the payment.

Don’t let your card out of your sight. Apart from the danger of being overcharged mentioned above, there’s also an increased risk your card could be cloned.

Watch for card clash

You won’t get charged twice if you accidentally tap two cards on a reader at once – but you might find the payment goes from a different card to the one you want.

This is mainly for those on the London Underground where you need to tap in and out of your journey. If you use a different card on your way in to the one you tap on your way out you will be charged twice.

However it could also cause you do go into your overdraft, or charge a credit card which will add on interest if you don’t pay the full amount off each month.

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