What is a contactless electronic payment system?

A contactless payment system is one that uses a wireless device such as a card or token instead of a contact chip card or magnetic stripe card. A payment is contactless when you don't swipe or insert your credit or debit card at the checkout. Instead, you just hold your card up to 10 centimeters away from the payment reader at the register and your payment information is sent wirelessly and processed. This is a faster and more convenient way to pay.

Most of the transport systems in the largest cities in the world now use contactless smart card fare payment technology including Lisbon, Paris and London in Europe; Beijing, Guangzhou, Taipei and Hong Kong in Asia; and Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Sao Paulo and Santiago in the Americas. There are also bank issued contactless credit and debit cards.

For more information, see What is a "smart" transit card? and Is my contactless smart transit card the same as my contactless credit or debit card?

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