What is a PayPass Credit Card

  • 3 min read

You might have noticed at some payment terminals that there is a place to pay that has a PayPass logo on it. You might have even applied for a credit card that includes this payment technology. It is billed by MasterCard as the safe, smart, and fast way to pay for your goods and services anywhere. Your card can be used to shop online or in a store and you pay just by tapping the card on the payment terminal. If the amount is less than $100, you don’t even need to supply your signature!

What Is the Advantage of PayPass Technology?

The primary advantage is that it is incredibly easy to use. MasterCard has made PayPass available across a wide variety of platforms, which means you don’t need to expose your credit card in order to pay for a purchase. PayPass works on mobile phones and tags in addition to the cards and all you need to do is place the item with your card information by the contactless terminal.

In order for mobile applications to work, you must have NFC technology on your mobile phone. You will also need to have the mobile payment app from your banking provider in order to enable this technology on your phone.

How Does It Work?

MasterCard’s PayPass technology works because of what is called RFID. This is the abbreviation for radio-frequency identification and it transmits the information for payment from your chip-enabled card or mobile device to the payment station. It uses a tracking system of bar codes, a lot like what you’d see on any product at a large retail store, to send the payment information through the airwaves, into the reader, and then into usable information.

Are There Any Disadvantages To PayPass?

The one major disadvantage of using MasterCard’s PayPass technology on your credit card is that you are constantly broadcasting your payment data. Although the reading range on an RFID card isn’t very far, a scanning device is all that would be needed to obtain your personal data and then allow someone to use your credit card.

If you do have an RFID card, however, this broadcasting can be blocked with special wallets or pouches that are designed to stop electronic broadcasts. It doesn’t harm the card any and scrambles the signal outward so that anyone with a scanner will just pick up useless data. If you’re thinking about using a PayPass card, it may be an important consideration to purchase a RFID blocker as well.

MasterCard has made making payments simple and easy with this technology. As long as you take the appropriate steps to protect yourself based on your levels of comfort, then PayPass is a wonderful way to make purchasing anything a painless process.

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Christopher - BSc, MBA

With over two decades of combined Big 5 Banking and Agency experience, Christopher launched Underbanked® to cut through the noise and complexity of financial information. Christopher has an MBA degree from McMaster University and BSc. from Western University in Canada.