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Is contactless payment technology the same as RFID technology?

Contactless payment technology and RFID technology are both technologies that use radio frequency to relay information, but the similarities end there. Contactless payments are very secure, while RFID is not.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology or RFID tags are often used in manufacturing, shipping and to track objects. RFID tags can be read over a long range (up to 25 feet). Because they are used for tracking purposes, they are inexpensive low-end chips that do not have a lot of security features built in.

Contactless payment technology uses high-end chips that include a computer and strong security. It operates at only a short range (2-4 inches) for privacy, and supports the same strong security features as contact smart cards used for payments. The financial payments industry has designed multiple layers of security throughout the traditional credit and debit payment systems to protect all parties involved in a payment transaction. Therefore, paying via contactless is a very secure process.

See also, “How does contactless payment security work?

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