What Are Contactless Payments and How Do They Work?

Contactless payments have become increasingly popular in the UK in recent years, with many consumers opting to use their contactless cards or smartphones to make small purchases instead of using cash or other traditional methods of payment. According to Payments Monitor Q1 2022, Cheque payments across Ireland hit a new quarterly low at only 4.5 million

These payment methods are becoming more and more popular among businesses, and people are inclining toward cashless and card payments more and more every day. NPI, being the first contactless payment merchant in Ireland, is getting more and more popular, and the reason is the advantages of these methods. In this guide on contactless payments, we cover everything you need to know about them, including how they work and why they’re so much better than carrying cash or swiping your credit card.

What is a Contactless Payment Method?

Contactless payment is a financial transaction that does not require physical contact between the payer and the payee. Instead, the two parties communicate wirelessly, typically using near-field communication (NFC) technology. NFC is a form of radio frequency identification (RFID) that allows data to be exchanged between devices that are placed within proximity to each other.

The trend of contactless payments is taking over the businesses in Europe and according to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), the volume of quarterly contactless payments in Ireland saw a huge rise with 2.5 million payments per day in Q1 2022.

How Do Contactless Payment Work?

When you make a contactless payment, your card (or smartphone, if you’re using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay) emits a radio signal that transmits your card number and expiration date to the merchant’s contactless reader. The reader then sends the information to the card issuer for authorization. If the issuer approves the transaction, it sends a response back to the reader, which completes the purchase.

Common Misconceptions about Contactless Payments

Many people think that contactless payments are only for small transactions when in reality they can be used for purchases of any size.

Additionally, some believe that contactless payments are only available with certain credit cards, when in fact any card with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip can be used.

Another myth is that you have to wave your card in front of the reader when you just need to hold it close. Some also think that contactless payments are not secure, but the truth is they are more secure than traditional methods because they use encrypted data and tokenization.

Finally, many people believe that you can only use contactless payments at certain retailers, when in fact more and more businesses are accepting them every day.

The Benefits of Using a Contactless Card over Other Forms of Payment

There are many benefits of using a contactless card over other forms of payment.

  • For one, you don’t have to worry about carrying cash or coins around with you. Contactless payments are also more secure than traditional methods like checks or credit cards since your information is never shared with the merchant.
  • Additionally, contactless payments are often faster than other methods, so you can save time when you’re making a purchase.
  • Finally, using a contactless card can help you stay organized and keep track of your spending since you can easily see all of your transactions in one place.


No matter what is your bank account, business size, and product/service type, contactless payments from NPI will only bring benefits and value to your business. Being the first contactless payment merchant, NPI has been providing quality payment solutions to Irish businesses for quite a long time now. Their contactless payments are the most secure and efficient way to process payments, and they offer the lowest rates in the country. If you haven’t gone contactless with your payment methods, the time is now!

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