Payment Software Payment Terminals

How Does Contactless Card Technology Work?

A contactless payment means there’s no hand-to-hand exchange of a credit card or the need to key in any of your information or a PIN. The person paying either taps or inserts his or her credit or debit card into the point-of-sale device, which then accepts the payment. Another way to pay is through Google Pay or Apple Pay using a smartphone, where your phone communicates with the point-of-sale device. Are contactless payments safe? How do they work if you’re not swiping your card? Learn more about how contactless card technology works below.

How does a contactless payment work?

Most credit and debit cards these days come with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. This means that there is a chip inside them that emits radio waves and connects with a contactless terminal such as FivePoint Accept. To pay for something with an RFID chip card, you hold the card near a payment terminal that has RFID reader technology (not all do, which is why swiping is still an option) and it picks up the signal, communicates with the card and processes the payment.

With Google Pay or Apply Pay, your credit card information is stored in your phone. All you do is unlock your phone and hover it over the reader, and it will contactlessly “swipe” your digital credit card. Some older readers don’t yet take Google or Apple Pay.

Are contactless payment safe?

Overall, contactless payments are safer than the alternatives including handing your credit card over to someone to key in your card’s information or having to enter in your PIN. The chip on your credit card can protect you against fraudulent activity, as it uses a sophisticated system of unique codes and electronic signatures every time a payment is made, which reduces the likeliness that your card details can be replicated or snatched by another person. Additionally, using your phone speeds up the payment process, allowing you pay for items without having to dig around in your purse or pull out your wallet for your card.

And of course, as we all know by now, hands can transmit germs and viruses. A contactless payment option protects both the person paying and the person accepting the payment.

How do FivePoint Accept terminals work?

All of FivePoint’s credit card readers, which are developed specifically for local government and state agencies, offer end-to-end encryption, natively support chip cards and contactless payments (including Apple Pay and Google Pay). When a government agency uses FivePoint Accept, it helps protect it against liability for counterfeit fraud. A great feature of Accept is that it seamlessly integrates with your case management system, allowing you to accept payments directly from within your CMS instead of jumping between programs, thereby reducing mistakes and wasted time. On the other hand, should an agency not want it to integrate with its existing system for whatever reason, it can also serve as a standalone product. This device and its corresponding software offer a more efficient, flexible and safer option for government agencies to accept a variety of payments from the public.

Contact us to find out more about Accept for your government agency.

Karina Antenucci

About Karina Antenucci

Karina Antenucci is a storyteller and the founder of Message Sprout. With 17 years of copywriting prowess, she builds brand narratives through quality content that engages customers on a deeper level and drives awareness.


FivePoint Payments simplifies and modernizes the process of paying government agency fees and fines, making it more efficient for both the payee and the payer. We do this through innovative software applications and hardware solutions that can be integrated with government agencies’ current systems.


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