FNB announced this week that all FNB cards, credit cards, and debit cards will be contact-less “tap-enabled”. In other words, FNB customers will be able to tap their cards at selected merchants and pay for things that cost less than R200 without their cards leaving their fingertips. According to a media release, FNB started issuing contact-less cards in May 2015 and already have more than one million in the market.
According to chief executive of FNB Mr Chris Labuschange said the benefits of the contact-less FNB cards are namely safety and more so convenience. Mr Labuschange went on to say that payments are around a third faster than normal PIN-based transactions, which means there is less time spent in queues. The fact that a consumer’s card never leaves their hand gives the customer a huge level of security.
The contact-less cards have additional features that include encryption technology. This protects the card’s contact-less data from reproduction. Also, consumers are required to enter their PIN after a number of “taps” to verify the transaction, which is also a safety precaution. Currently, PIN-less transactions are limited to transactions under R200 and customers who want to use a contact-less card for more than R200 will need to tap and enter their pin.
“Tap” payments are useful for smaller, everyday purchases, such as running into the shops for bread and milk or to purchase your morning coffee. These purchases are usually made on the go where quick, painless payment options are very welcome.
The FNB data shows that customers using tap functionality tend to favor the same fuel or coffee retailer. The average “tap” is normally R60 at a time. The number of customers using this new technology has risen sharply, doubling since February.
“We are expecting to see much wider adoption as customers become accustomed to the contact-less technology, and more merchants are geared towards these types of payments,” stated Mr Labuschange.