So, I had mentioned that my new credit card had an RF transmitter in it for making contactless payments. I finally got a chance to use this feature yesterday at the pharmacy to purchase my prescription. Some interesting notes about the experience:
- The receipt, as usual, displays the last 4 digits of the credit card number. However, the number on the receipt is *not* the last 4 digits of my card. It appears that the RF method of payment acts as an additional card number (sort of like my wife’s card) that charges to the same account. Makes a lot of sense, I suppose, except that from the user’s perspective the user wasn’t expecting this behavior it could make it harder to reconcile the receipt with which card the user charged it to.
- I needed to hold the card on the reader for a second, and then the display showed 4 options of buttons to hit, including Credit, Debit, Gift Card, and something else I guess. (I guess I should have paid more attention.) I would think that while it’s transmitting my card number and who knows what else, it could also transmit the type of card, no? It should have a better idea of what kind of card it is than I have.
- It didn’t seem that much quicker than swiping the card. In the second it took it to read the card, I think I could have swiped it if I were quick enough. I suppose it could have been slightly faster to do the RF thing. But I suspect the primary advantage from the credit card company / retailer’s point of view is that there’s no chance of swiping the card the wrong way, which is I suspect a significant common time-waster of self-swiped credit card processing. Apparently, the RF payment product is also available in a keychain fob, which could make it faster for some people as they only have to get out their keys instead of getting out their wallet, I guess.