Credit cards have been around for a long time and have evolved from being a magnetic strip based card to chip based credit card. While the chip cards are more secure, both these types of card still requires the customer to insert or swipe the card on the electronic data capture (EDC) machine at the point of sale (POS)
Taking advantage of newer technologies like Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC),payment networks and banks have come out with Contactless credit card. As the name suggests, these cards need not be swiped in the machine. All that is required is for the credit card to be present near the card reader. A simple wave or tap of the card and your payment is done! Now that’s convenient.
The biggest advantage of the contactless card from a security standpoint is that the card never leaves your hand. Due to this, the risk of the card being skimmed and used for fraudulent transaction is taken care of. The transaction flows just like it would in the case of a normal credit card. The only difference is that the card information, which usually gets captured when the swipe is done, is sent wirelessly using one of the two technologies mentioned earlier.
However, currently there are limitations to this technology. To enable contactless payments, special machines are required which can read the data wirelessly. While banks across are deploying these, the wide acceptance to contactless payments is some time away. For this reason, these contactless cards have been designed such that they can also be used as a regular chip card.
So go ahead and apply for a contactless card today. It definitely will get you some attention when making a payment. The contactless way!