NFC Credit Cards in Australia

Near field communication enables you to make contactless payments. Every Amex, Visa and Mastercard has this technology. Here's how it works.

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Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Kogan Money Black Card - Exclusive Offer
20.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 30 months
$0
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $50 Kogan.com Credit
Save with a $0 annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers. Plus, earn $50 Kogan.com Credit and uncapped rewards points.
St.George Vertigo Card
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Long-Term 0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Premier Qantas Card
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 6 months
$175 annual fee for the first year ($350 p.a. thereafter)
100,000 Bonus Qantas Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days and a first-year annual fee discount.
Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 36 months
$99
Long-Term 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, complimentary insurance covers.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
0% Purchase Rate & Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20k after 12 months).
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 28 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
$0 First-Year Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 32 months (with no BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 34 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 34 months (with a 2% BT fee), ​an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
$400 Cashback & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get $400 cashback when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 4 months. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
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What is NFC?

NFC is the technology that allows wireless communication between devices that are a few centimetres apart. It doesn’t require an Internet connection and instead uses microchips to transmit data via shortwave radio frequencies.

When one NFC-enabled device is close enough to another NFC device, a connection can be established and data shared between them. For example, this happens when you tap your credit card on a payment terminal to make a contactless payment or when you use a transport card to catch a train or bus. In both these cases, the card communicates data to the reader to initiate and complete the transaction using NFC technology.

NFC-enabled credit cards

Mastercard PayPass, Visa payWave and American Express contactless are all examples of NFC-enabled technologies in Australia. These cards are embedded with an NFC microchip, which allows the cards to communicate payment data to card terminals to process payments. Another feature of contactless credit cards is that transactions under $100 don’t require PIN verification. Instead, you can just "tap and go”, speeding up the checkout process.

Contactless mobile payments

Mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay use NFC technology when you tap your smartphone at a contactless reader. When you tap link your card with one of these mobile wallets and tap and pay at the terminal, the device and NFC-enabled reader pass encrypted information between each other to process the payment. We've broken down how each of the major mobile wallets works below.

apple-pay-logo

Apple Pay

You can link your card with Apple Pay and use your iPhone or Apple Watch to make payments at the checkout by tapping it at the contactless reader. If you have an eligible device and your card issuer is partnered with Apple Pay, you can add your card to the wallet on your device

Similar to contactless payments, you can double click the side button or rest your finger on the Touch ID while holding your device up to the contactless reader to make a transaction. You'll be asked to use your Touch ID, face ID or passcode to verify the transaction. Apple Pay is partnered with Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB, Woolworths Group, ING, HSBC and more. See Finder's guide to credit cards that support Apple Pay to see a complete list of partnered brands and to learn more about how it works.

Google Pay

Google Pay uses the NFC chip found in most Android phones to process tap-and-go payments at the checkout. You can download the Google Pay app to sign in to your Google account and add your eligible card. When you're at the check out, you'll need to wake up your phone, hold the back of your phone close to the terminal for a few sections and follow the prompt's on the payment reader's screen. Google Pay is partnered with card issuers including American Express, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and St.George. You can compare a complete list of credit card issuers and banks that support Google Pay on Finder.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay uses the NFC chip in most Samsung Galaxy devices to allow you to make contactless payments. It also uses MST (Magnetic Secure Transaction) technology for contactless payments from some devices when available. Samsung Pay is supported by financial institutions including American Express, ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, Citi, Bank Australia and more. You can see a complete list of Australian card issuers linked with Samsung Pay to see if your bank offers the mobile wallet.

You can add your card details to Samsung Pay by downloading the app, selecting 'add' and either taking a photo of your card or manually entering your card details. You can then hold your Samsung device against the terminal reader and use either a fingerprint or PIN to authenticate the payment.

Some banks such as CommBank and NAB also have their own contactless payment options built into their mobile banking apps.

credit-card-contactless-payment

Are NFC contactless payments secure?

NFC payments are about as safe as using your credit card or debit card. If you're using a digital wallet on your smartphone or device, you'll need to set a secure passcode, face ID or fingerprint ID to authorise a payment. This means that no one else can use your smartphone to make a payment if it's lost or stolen. If your smartphone is lost or stolen, you can use a desktop or another device to log into your account and lock your digital wallet to stop anyone else from using it.

Mobile wallets use tokenisation to store and protect your card details. When you upload your card details to a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, your data is encrypted before it's sent to Apple or Samsung. Rather than storing this encrypted information on your phone, your device is allocated a Device Account Number which is used to process payments.

Your contactless payments made using your card or digital wallet are also protected by the same security measures as your other transactions. For example, you'll be protected from fraudulent transactions with Visa's Zero Liability or Mastercard's FRAUDSHIELD technology. You can also carry your card in an RFID-blocking sleeve or wallet if you're worried about someone skimming your card from your wallet or pocket.

As always, make sure to regularly check your transaction history and contact your card issuer if you notice any suspicious transactions.

Images: Getty, Shutterstock, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay

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