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What is contactless payment and why is it on the rise?

Experts say the trend will continue as the Coronavirus pandemic surges on.

SAN ANTONIO — The coronavirus pandemic has changed how many people shop as contactless payments are gaining more popularity.

A recent survey from Entrust Datacard shows that 75 percent of people surveyed prefer contactless credit cards with 70 percent citing sanitation as the primary benefit.

So how you do know if your card is enabled for contactless transactions?

“If you see a little icon that looks like a sideways Wi-Fi icon, and they can also be made by loading your debit or credit card into one of the mobile wallets that's out there,” said Adam Vancini, head of Deposit Payments and Money Movement for Wells Fargo.

Vancini said the tap and pay method of completing a transaction is secure and less vulnerable to fraud and identification theft.

“They're based on a very similar technology to the EMV chip cards that people have been using now for the last several years,” said Vancini.  “Both of those technologies are more secure than the swipe cards. And they've been proven to actually reduce fraud really effectively.”

Experts said that more and more people are turning to contactless payments, especially during the COVID19 pandemic.

In November, 25 million Americans tapped a card or used a digital wallet, and that number jumped to 31 million people in March.

Vancini said as long as the pandemic surges on, and people are cautious about sanitation, the contactless payment trend will continue to rise.

“I think people are more concerned about touching things in this new environment that we're living in, and this is just one way of kind of reducing the need to touch things as you're going through your day to day life,” said Vancini.

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