Contactless Cards FAQ

If you don't find the answer to your Debit Card questions, our Teleservicing Department is available to answer your questions 66 hours per week by calling 847-729-1900.

1. What is a contactless payment?

A contactless payment is a payment transaction that does not require physical contact between a consumer’s payment card or device and a point-of-sale (POS) terminal. The consumer holds a payment device (such as a contactless (dual-interface) chip card or mobile device) in close proximity to the terminal (less than 1-2 in. away), and payment account information is transmitted wirelessly, over radio frequency (RF). The consumer’s contactless payment device can assume a variety of form factors, including cards, Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled smart phones, and wearables. Contactless transactions generate a unique code for each transaction.

Visual description of how to use a contactless debit card at a merchant terminal

2. How secure are Contactless Cards?

Contactless cards are safe, highly secured with encryption and have the same protection as EMV chip card payment. The data is not in the clear as it once was with a magnetic stripe only contactless card, so EMV cards are less vulnerable to counterfeit fraud than magnetic stripe cards. Transactions are also cryptographically secure and generate a unique code for each transaction. Therefore, issuers can automatically detect and reject any attempt to use the same transaction information more than once.

3. Are contactless cards vulnerable to skimming?

The risk for skimming is very low for two primary reasons. First, someone would need a genuine acquirer approved point of sale device to read the card. Second, long-range skimmers will not work as you need to be within one to two inches of the card to connect to the communication field. Short-range skimmers will not work as the information accessible through the contactless interface is limited only to a contactless-based payment transaction. For example, personal information such as the cardholder name cannot be read.