The Rise of Contactless Payments in Bahrain

The Rise of Contactless Payments in Bahrain

Top Benefits of using Contactless Credit Cards to make fast and secure Payments

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, consumers across the world, including Bahrain, are seen to prefer to make contactless payments using their debit and credit cards. Data provided by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) revealed that 53% of card transactions in Bahrain done during January 2021 were contactless. Incidentally, credit card and debit card transactions for the purchase of products and services increased by 20% in volume in 2021.

As more and more consumers seek safe and convenient payment methods, banks in the country have responded to their needs by issuing Tap and Pay credit cards in Bahrain.

How do Tap and Pay Credit Cards Work?

Contactless cards employ near field communication technology (NFC) to transmit payment messages to the POS device and eliminate the need to insert, swipe or enter a PIN.

All the customer has to do is present the tap and pay credit card to the vendor. The vendor simply taps the reader of the credit card at any contactless POS terminal and the transaction is made within a few seconds.

Most tap and pay credit cards Bahrain are limited to low-value payments, typically up to an amount of BHD 50, in order to promote safe and secure transactions.

Here’s how you can use a credit card to make contactless payments:

1. Look – Look for the contactless tap and pay symbol at your favorite retail outlets or restaurants. Ensure that your credit card features a contactless indicator on the front or back of the card.

2. Tap – When prompted bring your card within a few inches on the POS or checkout terminal. Depending on the terminal, you need to tap above or below the screen until the light turns green.

3. Pay – Once your payment is processed, you will hear a beep, and a receipt is generated. The payment is confirmed and you are good to go. At times, you may be asked to enter your PIN for extra security (first time users, for example - to verify that you are the genuine cardholder).

4. Receive SMS – After the payment is confirmed, you will receive SMS transaction alerts on your registered mobile number.

Benefits of Contactless Credit Card Payments

The main advantage of contactless payments is that it’s fast and hassle-free, unlike normal transactions that involve swiping or inserting the card into a POS terminal and entering your PIN.

Here are some of the benefits of using tap and pay credit cards:

Touch-Free – Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using contactless credit cards is that it’s convenient and safe to use them. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, using contactless payments is essential to avoid physical touching of public surfaces of POS devices and terminals and thus reduce the spread of the virus.

Secure – Every tap and pay credit card contains a highly sophisticated and secure chip technology that performs a wide range of functions. For a transaction to take place, the chip inside the card interacts securely with the contactless acceptance terminal to generate one-time electronic signatures and cryptograms. Moreover, all tap and pay cards are restricted to a maximum amount per transaction, which means you will need to enter a PIN for higher values.

Less Wear and Tear – Cards with magnetic strips and EMV chips tend to wear out with repeated use and contact with payment terminals. In contrast, contactless chip cards last long.

Better for Travel – Many self-service ticket machines require contactless payment using tap and pay cards. Therefore carrying such credit cards is great for when you are on the go.

Contactless payments are quickly becoming the norm in the GCC and Bahrain. Statistics indicate that the value of contactless payments in Bahrain has grown by around 30% in 2021, with the largest number of transactions being carried out in restaurants, supermarkets, transportation and health centers.

Most banks in Bahrain are now sending contactless credit cards by default when you apply for credit cards online.

Whether you are a business or a customer, Ahli United Bank’s wide range of tap and pay credit cards help you embrace the benefits of contactless payment technology. They come with the dual interface of contactless payment as well as the regular Chip and PIN to help consumers make hassle-free transactions.

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