Contactless payment programs are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smart cards or other devices, counting smartphones and other portable devices, that use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) for producing secure payments. The embedded chip and antenna permit consumers to wave their card, fob, or smart device on a reader at the point of sale terminal.

Some suppliers privilege that transactions can be almost twice as firm as a conventional cash, credit/debit card purchase. Because no signature or PIN verification is typically obligatory, contactless purchases are usually limited. Those unauthorized might still take advantage of contactless payment systems as no identification happens before payment except for certain devices, for example when using mobile payments. However, owners can block transactions, and that might provide a relatively short time frame, if any, for fraudulent activities to happen.

Research indicates that consumers are likely to spend additional money using their cards due to the ease of minor transactions. MasterCard Canada says it has seen "about 25 %" higher spending by users of its PayPass-brand RFID credit cards.

EMV is a communal standard used by major credit card and smartphone companies for usage in general commerce. Contactless smart cards that roles as stored-value cards are becoming standard for use as transit system fare cards, like the Oyster card or RioCard. These can often stock non-currency value (for example monthly passes) in additional to fair value purchased with cash or electronic payment.

Numerous passengers on Transport for London's Tube use Apple Pay. As of November 2015, 4 (four) million people ride the Tube and a quarter of those are spending via contactless payment to fee for their ride. Approximately 22,000 people per day are signing up to usage contactless payment.

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