Do You Use Contactless Payments?

In its full-year results announcement yesterday, the Commonwealth Bank revealed that 20 per cent of its card transactions were now made with contactless payment systems. Are you on board with the convenience of tapping your card and paying instantly, or are you still hanging back?

Contactless picture from Shutterstock

There are several obvious reasons why you might not use that option: you don't have a card that supports it, the store you're in doesn't offer it, you're spending more than the limit allowed, or you're paranoid about your account being hacked because of it. But we're wondering:


    I'd like to add to my vote, only when I can see the value i'm spending on the machine. I don't give them my card to tap as for all I know, the operator could change the value.

      I wouldn't do that either, but I've never come across anyone who's held out their hand to take it when they have a tap system.

        I have, some random corner shops in Brisbane have done it to me. Also at Maccas, though i'd probably trust them doing so

    I always Paywave on my visa debit, because my bank (ING Direct) rebates 2% of my purchases made via Paywave (it was 5% for the first 6 months).

      I'm the same. I'll use my ING debit card wherever they'll let me. The 5% deal is only good for amount <$100, so I'll even go so far as to split payments into $99 lots.

        Yep, I do the same, I break our weekly shopping bill into 2 lots if it cracks the $99 mark. I find it funny when I use it in some shops and the counter staff say how they like it because its quicker, I tell them I like because I also get a 5% kick back from my bank for using it, it's amazing how all of a sudden everyone wants to know "which Bank?" ING Direct (and no I don't work for them, I just really like how they do things)

    I like using it - quick and all. But unless I'm using a self-serve register, I don't get the chance. Even saying 'paywave' they activate the card terminal, which doesn't always have it.

    Absolutely! Without doubt I prefer to use contactless payments for smaller items.

    i try not to use it when i can because its a credit charge and i prefer the money come out now rather then later. its quite annoying when it does it when you didn't mean to.

      Agreed. The poll needs "Have a compatible card but choose not to use contactless."

      My debit card has contactless so you don't have to use credit

        After reading the other comments, i get what you mean now. The transaction may not process for a number of days as it is a credit charge. That is quite annoying sometimes actually..mainly when you are trying to figure out what the hell happened last night

      Doesn't your bank show it as "account balance" and "amount available" so you know how much you have left, including the amounts yet to be processed?

    I don't have a card that supports it, but I've always wondered about it from a security perspective, doesn't that support just mean anyone can steal and use your card without any extra checks in place?

      Contactless is more secure than signature & magstrip.
      Believe it or not, it's actually more secure than magstrip and pin, because it can't be skimmed.

      Yes, it does mean that anyone can steal your card and use it for purchases. But people can do that anyway. here's how:
      option 1, the hard way:
      1. Steal a card.
      2. use the hard end of a pencil eraser to scratch the existing signature off the card
      3. re-write your signature on a card with a fineliner.
      4. Swipe & sign.

      Option 2, the easy way:
      1. Steal the card
      2. Log onto any website and buy stuff
      3. Enter the credit card numbers and click [submit]

      But as a consumer, the risk of theft isn't your risk at all - all purchases made with contactless are guaranteed by the bank. So even if someone does steal your card, as long as you let your bank know you've lost it as soon as possible, all transactions get reversed and you get your money back.

        Yeah, they can be skimmed, but you're right about the bank's guarantees. At worst I see it as being no more risky than having a credit card. Ultimately I see it as being similar to protecting yourself from phishing and malware; if you take the right precautions, you'll probably be ok.

        Last edited 15/08/13 9:21 pm

    Contactless payments concern me, the primary reason is no secondary factor of authentication. Yes the purchase amount is limited, but that wont stop someone who has lifted your card going from store to store having fun at your expense. Yes I know the banks have protection systems in place, but getting that money back takes time and effort.

      you are protected for any fraud that takes place on contactless payments. keep in mind, it still prompts for pin for amounts above $100. if you use your pin, then technically the bank doesnt provide you the same assurance. the banks see contactless in the same class as signature....and thats going shortly.

      And this is different from someone using your credit card numbers without any secondary factor of authentication on on-line stores, how?

    The Best! Use it wherever i can! Had some issues with it at the start where it wouldn't work, and after 5 (yes 5) new cards and constantly going in to the CommBank to try sort out the issue (because they had no idea why it was not working), 2 months later they sent me instructions telling me i had to make a purchase as a credit to activate the feature! (which no one at the CommBank stores knew about) . But works great where available!

    Also saved me once, made some purchases at coles at self checkout and requested $70 cash out, tapped and walked away without taking my cash!!!! Amazingly enough, no cash was ever dispensed as paypass transactions go through as credit and you cannot take money out via credit! (i didn't know that=/) awwwwwwesome!

    Hell yeah, all the time.
    Huge time saver!

    its not a credit charge? well, my visa debit has it as well as my credit card.

    just don't try to read it with a nokia phone, you screw up the cards and it no longer works

    I'm happy to use it, but quite a lot of the time it requires repeated attempts at tapping or fails to work altogether.

    "Whenever I can" is the closest, although it's not really true. I use it when the value of the transaction is low enough (under $100, IIRC) that it's literally tap-and-go; AND where I want to record the transaction on my statement for later (e.g. where I'm splitting the cost with someone else).

    I would use it more if it came out of my account instantly. it uses the Credit function on my st George visa debit. I end up using Eftpos instead

      Yep - this ^

    I find that a lot of places I try to use contactless have faulty machines and usually tell me to just insert the card, whats the point of contactless if i cant use it. Also not a fan of the transactions appearing days after the initial transaction (might just be commbank?)

      I find that at Woolworths it takes much longer to use contactless. You tap you card and the terminal tell you to try again. You try again and it fails again. The checkout person then tells you "it always does that" and you insert the card , select your account and type you pin.

        I don't want to get all apple on you, but maybe you're doing it wrong. Do you swish it past quickly or swoop in a parabola like Halley's comet? I usually just hold it a couple of centimetres in front of the machine until it beeps, never had a problem.

    With an offer like the current 5% of on PayWave purchased from ING, you would be silly not to!

      Thanks ING Direct! You can barely even notice it's an advertisement!

        Just for the record: I am NOT affiliated in any way with ING Direct and do not receive any monetary or otherwise benefit from them.

        If you have any other option for getting 5% instant cash rebate on any purchase you make below $100, I invite you to share it with LH readers.

        Oh, you, don't have one? I thought so ;)

        Last edited 16/08/13 9:07 am

          Really? Because you're blatantly using a LH account to promote your own website, which I won't link to, but a cursory review of your previous comments shows that you link to it on a regular basis - using a third party link shortener to disguise your url.

          You're either getting paid by certain companies to promote their deals, either directly or indirectly, or you're making revenue from advertising directly on your site.

          Either way, the above is an advertisement.

          I'll let the LH team know, and hopefully they'll remove your account. and ban you from the site.

          The funny thing is, if your reply wasn't so condescending, I wouldn't have bothered looking in to it at all. :)

          Last edited 20/08/13 7:46 pm

            Link shortener? I am sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about!

            Moreover, I am 100% certain I am in full compliance with LH guidelines. Feel free to 'report' to whoever you like. I have nothing to hide and no 'secret agenda' as you imply other than sharing knowledge about what I think are the best deals around.

            Namaste :)

              Pure Bullshit.

              1. Three of your previous comments were edited today to remove links to your own website,

              2. One of your previous comments contains an affiliate link to an ING direct page.

              3. Want proof?

              People like you are the worst kind of idiots. I don't know how long you thought you could go trying to piggyback off of lifehacker, but this is not the way to market your sponsored bullshit under the guise of "consumer affairs".

              The only thing worse than spam is spam disguising itself as useful information.

                A quick glance over your comment history shows your 'style' (or lack thereof).

                Furthermore, the name you have chosen to give the screenshot image you just posted is a further reflection of your 'style'.

                I am not interested in conversing with people like you and as far as I'm concerned, this matter is closed. No further correspondence will be entered into.

                Have a good day.

                  Oh so now that I've called you out you're going to stop claiming that you don't get paid for product promotion on the lifehacker forums? Cool.

    I use the CommBank iCarte PayPass case. Works perfectly and I don't need to take out my wallet.

      Was tempted to give this case a go, however the $50 price tag doesn't appeal

    I use it wherever I can - petrol stations, woolies, anywhere it's accepted. Love the convenience.

    I have it on my cards and I choose not to use it. I don't like that the payment isn't processed for up to three days after I use it, while going to the effort of putting in my PIN means that the payment is processed instantly.

    The software/hardware mediating the Paywave contact points is often so slow and cumbersome that it ends up taking longer than a regular transaction. So many vendors seem to have to re-initiate the purchase in their system as a special transaction or it doesn't work.

    It's also a bit crazy after decades of confusion over which way to turn your card to slide through a reader, that the contact points are so variable you don't know whether you're supposed to tap the lit-up display or some other opaque point on the unit.

    I use it often, for the convenience. I have a rfid blocker cover for the card, so it can't be scanned until I pull it out of my wallet.

    Love the use of contactless payments, however sometimes it really pi**es me right off

    The reason it pi**es me right off is that sometimes it has taken nearly 3 weeks to appear on my account, and if caught off guard you think you have more money than you actually do and then bam there goes the money from that shopping 3 weeks ago

    The majority of the time, I do not have an issue with it, it appears on my account straight away, albeit as pending like a credit card transaction but at least it's there

    I didn't even know that I could, until one time I handed my card to pay for my petrol and the guy just tapped it (this is an Amex, mind you).

    Yeah ING all the way - I wouldn't have bothered using paywave if it wasn't for their ridiculously awesome offer - we got 5% for about 9 months, and saved nearly $400, now we're getting 2% - which is 2% more than any other bank

    I'm also not affiliated with ING, aside from being a very happy customer

    (although, savings rate not so good - introductory offers are great, but after they lapsed I took my money elsewhere)

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