By Judith Clark, QSA Consultant
With 95% of credit cards in Canada supporting contactless, 165 million contactless cards across Europe and one out of three card payments being contactless in the UK; the total amount spent in the UK is estimated to be approximately £23 billion for the first six months of 2017. The popularity of contactless payments is such that the number of transactions in the UK, is estimated to rise to 11 billion by 2026.
In Australia the popularity has also grown in which over 75% of face-to-face transactions using a Visa card are contactless. In the U.S. however things are currently lagging behind, with most EMV chip cards that have been issued not being contactless, thought there are indicators that this could change in the near future.
With this in mind, the number of incomplete or failed contactless transactions is also expected to rise which potentially means an increase in losses for your merchant customers. An incomplete transaction can occur for a variety of reasons i.e.
- customer moving the card away too soon, caused by impatience with online authorisation
- the transaction has been declined and the customer has not noticed
- or through a deliberate act of fraud.
This is especially true of self-service tills such as those found in most supermarkets today. According to one survey, British shoppers steal more than £1.6bn worth of items from supermarket self-service tills every year. The top 4 reasons for fraud being given as:- “item wouldn’t scan”, “you’re less likely to get caught at self-service”, “the machine is easy to fool” and “I didn’t realise the item hadn’t scanned at the time”.
With the popularity of contactless payments soaring and Visa’s recent move to strengthen security for stolen contactless cards (introducing a Zero Floor Limit for all contactless transactions) now may be a good time to warn your merchants to ensure that they monitor their customer’s use of contactless transactions more closely by ensuring that the transactions are authorised. A simple way to tell this, is by watching for the reader lights to return to the ready state of a single green flashing light ready for the next transaction although these are not always easy to see. Also the Point of Sale terminal or till, should begin printing a receipt for the customer. The customer will see a message displayed that the payment has been approved and wait for their receipt
These action should go some way to ensuring that losses are kept to a minimum for everyone.