Contactless Payment Does Not Always Work, But Why?

Reasons Why Contactless Payments Fail

Learn why your contactless payment method does not always work at payment terminals.

Episode #12-13 released on November 20, 2021

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Contactless payment systems are now the norm, especially with the pandemic. We have, also, had the ability to pay with a tap for a while now. It is a simple process that only requires that we tap on a terminal equipped for contact less payment. Contact payment typically can allow for payments from debit, credit, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. And, for the majority of people, this typically works without issue.

Why are some people unable to tap to pay on payment terminals?

There are several reasons for why tapping on the payment terminal may not initiate the payment process, these reasons are from most to least likely reasons why.

The most common reason payment by tap and pay does not work, is because of how the card is constructed, used, and stored. Each card, and device for that matter, use an array of wire loops that allow for the chip to communicate wirelessly and power the chip at the same time. If the wire loops are ever damaged, the chip cannot be powered or communicate with the terminal, and thusly, cannot transmit any information. These coils are how power, and information are communicated. And, because people either bend the card to use it, store it in a way that bends the card, or in the case of phones, we drop them in a way that can damage the RFID receiver, we are often the reason why the payment does not work.

Another possible reason why your payment is not working is due to the payment processing network. After all, anything that can affects the Internet, will affect payment processing and that affects contactless payments at well. And since, contactless payments are processed from a different set of servers, it is possible for that to be down while conventional payments work.

Another plausible reason why your payment does not work when you tap your card, is your bank. And there are several reasons why. First, all banks set both a maximum per transaction tap limit and a maximum amount you can use tap with your card before you will be required to enter your chip and use your pin to confirm you are indeed the correct user. Other reasons can be that the card is deactivated, your account is frozen, your balance does not cover the transaction, etc.

Payment Terminal can be the source of the issue, however, more often than not, they are blamed for the issues we just talked about. It is possible the device needs to be reset, but the odds that the device outright is the issue is low. Typically, resetting the terminal fixes the majority of issues, and in my own experience, thousands of payments will pass without issue before the terminal is the case. These devices like others have a cache, and that is likely what needs to be purged to fix any issues. Periodically, the device can fail completely, but this is rare and not unheard of.

Cash Registers are simply computers, and they are setup using stripped down versions of operating systems designed exclusively for commence. These are rarely crash but it does happen. It is possible a transaction simply does not work due to software error, however, that being said, most cash registers are designed to be more stable than your home computer, and more secure, too. And, on top of all this, near real-time backups of all transactions, and redundancy in most stores means that when one cash register fails to function, it is typically possible to be served on another cash register.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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