Q: What is Mastercard contactless?

A: Mastercard contactless is like having exact change wherever you go. A simple tap of your card, key fob or smart phone is all it takes to pay at checkout.

Q: Why should I use contactless?

A: There are many benefits to contactless payments:

  • It's like having exact change wherever you go, so you don't have to worry about carrying around cash or fishing for coins.
  • You are in control because your contactless-enabled card or device never leaves your hand at checkout.
  • You get better record keeping of all your purchases than you do when using cash.
  • It's fast and ideal at places where speed is essential, like stadiums, fast food restaurants, gas stations and more.
Q: Where can I make contactless payments?

A: Anywhere you see the contactless symbol at checkout , you can simply tap to pay. This includes fast food restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, stadiums and more.

If you don't see the symbol, your contactless-enabled card can still be used by inserting your chip card or swiping at checkout.

Q: How do I pay with Mastercard contactless?

A: To make a purchase, simply tap your Mastercard contactless card, key fob or smart phone on the payment reader at the checkout of participating retail locations.

Q: Can I use my contactless card or device on payment readers that don't display the contactless logo?

A: You can make contactless payments on any contactless payment reader that displays this symbol . You may also use contactless cards in magnetic stripe readers by swiping the card. However, you cannot use a contacless key fob or smart phone in a magnetic stripe reader.

Q: How close does the "tap" have to be to the checkout reader?

A: Typically, when you tap your card/device at checkout, it must be within an inch or two of the contactless symbol on the terminal at the counter. Please note that if you have more than one contactless card in your wallet, you should remove the specific card you would like to use rather than tapping your wallet against the reader.

Q: How will purchases appear on my monthly statement?

A: Purchases made with contactless will be displayed on your statement just like any other purchase you make with a card.

Q: How does it work?

A: Contactless uses a hidden embedded computer chip and radio frequency antennae. After you tap your contactless card or device at checkout, payment details are sent wirelessly to the Mastercard network. If using a mobile phone, moments after you tap, you'll receive payment confirmation and be on your way.

Q: What is a key fob or payment tag?

A: A key fob or payment tag is a special contactless device that you can attach to your key chain. Card issuers sometimes provide this as a companion to your traditional primary Mastercard plastic card. 

Q: Do I have to treat my Mastercard contactless card or device in any special way?

A: Treat your contactless card or device as you would any other credit, debit or prepaid card. Always know where your contactless card or device is and keep it in a safe place. And be sure to keep a record of all of your card numbers, expiration dates and emergency phone numbers.

Q: Is there a battery?

A: No, there is no battery.

Q: Do I need to turn it on/off?

A: If you have a contactless-enabled mobile phone, you can turn it on or off. If you are using contactless card or fob, it is always on and ready to use.

Q: Is it safe?

A: Yes. Contactless payments provide secure encryption technology and Zero Liability protection and are as safe as your regular card.

  • You are in control – your contactless-enabled card or device never leaves your hands to make a payment
  • No accidental payments – your contactless-enabled card or device must be close to the reader at checkout to work
  • Not billed twice – even if you tap more than once at checkout, you'll only get billed once for your purchas
Q: Why aren't signatures required?

A: To ensure that using contactless is as simple and convenient as cash, merchants that accept contactless do not require you to sign for small purchases ($80 or below). However, for your protection, purchases over $80 generally require a signature or PIN.

Q: What do I do if my contactless card or device has been lost or stolen?

A: If you have lost your card or suspect unauthorised activity on your account, contact the financial institution that issued your card immediately. 

Q: I would like to be removed from the contactless locator. Who can I contact?

A: Merchants who wish to decline participation may contact the Location Services Call Center and provide the following:

  • - Merchant representative or contact name
  • - Name of the business (i.e., "Doing Business As" name)
  • - Business location or address to be removed (one or more)
  • - Telephone number or email address for call back confirmation

Location Services Call Center


1-636-722-4050 (other locations)

Q: Questions not answered here?

A: If your question is not listed, we recommend that you contact the financial institution that issued your account as only they hold information specific to your account. Typically, there is a customer service number for your financial institution on the back of the card. 

Q: How does this "non-verified" transaction change the payment guarantee for the merchant?

A: The use of Mastercard contactless does not change the payment guarantee for merchants. Existing rules in place for the product/merchant category in which the transaction takes place continue to apply when contactless technology is used.

Q: What costs are involved?

A: To accept contactless payments, merchants can implement either a plug-in peripheral reader or a fully integrated system. Costs will vary depending on the selected solution.

Q: What type of technology is used for contactless?

A: In keeping with our overall strategy to create globally interoperable payment solutions, Mastercard contactless was built following an open industry standard for radio frequency communications - ISO 14443.

Q: What types of merchants will benefit the most from Mastercard contactless?

A: Mastercard contactless is an excellent choice for environments where speed and convenience are important and cash is the dominant payment method. Examples of this are fuel pumps, quick-service restaurants (QSRs), drive-thrus, convenience stores, vending machines, tollbooths, taxis and parking venues, among others.