Accepting contactless payments, a merchant guide.

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Contactless payments UK

Almost all UK banks issue contactless cards to account holders. The average contactless credit card payment is £8 and on debit cards it’s £6. Contactless technology is becoming increasing popular amongst clients in various industries, namely restaurant, supermarkets, transport felicities and cafes. It enables customers to make quick payments without having to enter their unique pin number when using contactless payment systems. We will look at how contactless transactions work shortly. The limit for these types of payments within the UK is currently £30. Contactless devices include the following:

· Credit card and debit cards

· Smart phones including not only Apple Pay but Android devices

· Wearable devices such as watches

· IPad and tablets

· Key fobs

· Stickers

How does a contactless card work?

Whether your customers choose to pay with mobile phone or pay with contactless cards, the process and the way it works is exactly the same. Contactless devices contain an antenna, which when held against a contactless payment terminal securely transmits the payment information, as it would do normally when after the pin had been entered with a larger card transaction. The authorisation process is the same. Once the payment has been approved by the issuing bank, the transaction is finalised. If your client is paying via contactless card payment look out for the contactless symbol.

Are contactless cards secure?

Business owners ask us regularly ‘how secure is contactless payment?’ understandably looking after your customers security is a priority and there are a lot of myths surrounding this relatively new technology. There are three main points which should provide both you and your customers with reassurance;

· Firstly when it comes to security contactless payment technology works in exactly the same way as the Chip and PIN secure system, to find out more about this please click HERE.

· Every single contactless card comes with robust security protecting your clients from fraudulent transactions. Contactless transactions work when the card is within centimetres of the Contactless Credit Card Reader. This makes it almost impossible for the transaction to be interfered with while the card is in use.

· There have been no confirmed reports of money being stolen from a contactless card or device still in the owners possession, within the UK.


Contactless card readers

The majority of newer PDQ machines have contactless payment systems built in already. We have a dedicated team who can advise you on the best PDQ terminals for accepting contactless payments.

However, an alternative way of accepting contactless transactions; is with the use of RFID CARD READERS – RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. More commonly known as ‘touch and pay. ‘It works in the same way as contactless card technology with PDQ machines, using radio waves to communicate between the RFID credit card reader and the customer’s credit, debit card or top up cards. Wireless RFID credit card readers are becoming increasingly popular, especially within local transport facilities and coffee shops, including Starbucks to mention one of many. RFID systems are very discrete with limited buttons and connect to EPOS systems easily.

Advantages of contactless payments

The majority of consumers expect most outlets to accept contactless payments. The benefits of having a contactless terminal can be advantageous to not only clients but to business owners too.


· Some Merchant Providers charge lower or nil fees on contactless debit card transactions

· Staff intervention is reduced dramatically when using a contactless card machine

· Cash handling reduction

· Receipt handling reduced, contactless receipts only need to be issued when a customer requests one

RISK REDUCTION – as with all card payments

· Assured payments

· Audit trails


· Speedy transactions

· No restrictions due to the amount of cash on the client’s person at the point of them wanting to buy

· Easy accessibility, meaning an increase in footfall to businesses.

As business owners, the disadvantages of contactless payments are very limited, speak to our advisors today. They will help you secure the very best contract for accepting contactless payments.




It’s believed the first contactless payment was made in South Korea in 1995 – having been around for over 20 years and technology developing during this time, it seems that contactless payments are not going anywhere!


Launched in 2016 in the UK there is now an alternative mobile phone card payment facility for Android users. It uses the same technology.


Hopefully we have dismissed the myths behind security when it comes to making contactless payments


Call our experts today for free impartial advice on all of your contactless processing needs.

Our experts at Merchant Advice Service, can ensure you get the very best deal with accepting card and contactless payments. They are ready and waiting for your call, contact us here.


Contactless Deadline 31st December 2019

New contactless rules

It was recently announced that by Visa that all chip and pin machines which are currently installed, must accept contactless payments by 31st December 2019. Fees for non-contactless payments will apply from 1st January 2020.

To avoid additional costs it’s important to make sure your card machine is contactless ready before the above dates.

Speak to our experts today to assist with new PDQ machines, which are contactless ready.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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