Guiding consumers since 2009

Are you ready to just tap and go when you pay?

By Danielle van Wyk

The integration of the tap and go system has revolutionised the way consumers make payments. Instead of having to insert or swipe your card, you are now able to simply tap and have the payment registered almost instantaneously. But how safe is this?

Justmoney explores the tap and go system, its safety measures, and whether it’s beneficial to the consumer.

Tip: To compare banking products and see which is best suited to you, click here.

“Tap and go transactions allow consumers to shop faster, avoid carrying cash, maintain secure transactions, increase transaction approval rates as a result of improved data quality, and avoid cards being lost or misused when leaving the cardholder’s hands,” says Tshipi Alexander, head of card and everyday banking for RBB SA, and the Absa Group.

Simply put, it’s considered a safe and secure method of making payments, allowing a faster, low-value payment experience, adds Jason Viljoen, FNB Head of Digital Payments.

The pros and cons

Generally, contactless payments are faster and allow for easier transacting as the card doesn’t need to be dipped or swiped, and on average are three times faster than cash payments, explains Alexander.

“In addition, card durability or lifespan is also improved as the card itself does not need to interact directly with the point of sale (POS) device through dipping or swiping,” says Alexander.

There has been concern that because of the ease of the system criminals could access your account and funds more easily.

As a customer, it’s imperative to ensure that you are connected to your bank’s SMS Notification programme for low-value payments being processed on your account. This is helpful in keeping track of all processed payments and allows you to monitor if any unauthorised transactions have taken place.

Another concern could stem from the regulation of such a system.

“As with any new technology, the payments industry needs to work hard to ensure all participants implement the technology according to industry standards,” says Viljoen.

Safety mechanisms

Consumers are encouraged to have their SMS notifications set up as well as their internet banking profiles. Apart from that, certain card transactions will require a pin to ensure card-holder protection. 

“Generally, certain lower value payments do not require a pin for tap and go purchases, but there are clearly defined internal and industry rules around this,” explains Alexander.

Certain contactless security measures make provision for random pin requests in which customers may be prompted randomly to enter a pin or to dip the card for lower value transactions after a random number of contactless taps as a fraud prevention mechanism.

Is this a win?

According to Viljoen it is. “This is in line with global modernisation of payments using advances in technology. The technology enables a faster low-value secure payment experience. Contactless technology also provides the foundation for smarter payments using smartphones, wearables and other innovative solutions.”

This is also an example of how core banking capabilities are evolving and leveraging new technology to provide better customer experiences worldwide.

“Customers who value convenience gravitate toward friction-free experiences and this is no different in payments,” Viljoen says.

Tap and go cards are currently available to most customers across banks. Customers will soon be able to conveniently “lock” and “unlock” the contactless functionality on their cards according to their preference.

Alexander says according to Euromonitor there are approximately 590,000 POS terminals in South Africa. Research suggests that approximately 40% of all terminals in South Africa are contactless enabled.

To access your free online credit report, click here.

Recent Articles

Featured Get personal with your finances – and tie the knot

As time passes, your financial products may not live up to your needs. Therefore, it’s important to take stock of what you’re paying for and adjust where necessary. We got in touch with financial advisers to find out how you can get your finances in order, and what you should do to ensure you’re financially stable.

Personal loan or business loan? The best way to finance your business

When starting your own business, you may have to rely on external funding. Perhaps you qualify for a personal loan, but would it be better to take out a business loan instead? We got in touch with a specialist to find out whether it’s best to take out a business loan or a personal loan to assist you with your ongoing business or start-up.

What to do when you’ve been denied a home loan

After months of scanning property sites and attending showhouse after showhouse, you’ve finally found what you’ve been looking for. But your dream of owning a home comes crumbling down when you receive the news that you’ve been denied a home loan. So, what now?

Best travel cards offered by top South African banks

Planning a trip abroad involves a lot of administration. You need to consider travelling arrangements, reasonable accommodation, and a daily itinerary. But have you considered how you’re going to pay your bills once you arrive? Besides considering bank costs, you also need to consider exchange rates.


Takealot January Big Sale

Price: Available on request
When: Until 31 January 2020
Where: Online

Annique Restore Package Special

Price: From R600
When: Until 31 January 2020
Where: Centurion

Ster-Kinekor Senior Citizens Discount

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide