Contactless credit card acceptance during COVID-19 (and beyond)

John Mayleben


As we move through the new “normal” of doing business in a non-contact kind of way, one of the points of contact that can be modified is how you accept a card for payment at the point of sale.

Pre Covid, we didn’t think anything of taking a card from the consumer and “dipping”, “tapping”, or “swiping” the card (more on those methods in a minute) for the consumer. With heightened sensitivity to handling something from someone outside of your immediate circle of contacts, you may want to review your options.

If you have a credit card terminal that can handle a chip transaction (dipping the card), you aren’t required to collect a customer signature on the receipt, nor compare that signature to the one on the back of the card. This change in the rules, along with a customer-facing entry device like a pin pad, would allow you to complete an EMV enabled card transaction without ever touching the card.

Most terminals that are EMV capable and allow you to dip a card also can handle a contactless transaction (like Apple Pay or Google Pay), thereby allowing the consumer to “tap” their card and eliminating the need for a signature. This reduces the points of contact on most transactions.

Get more info on MRA’s contactless options

Unfortunately, if you have a consumer that doesn’t have a contactless card or an EMV card, you will have to swipe it through the terminal (or have them do that at the customer-facing device). But you will need to get a signature on the receipt to protect yourself from a possible chargeback. Most pre-paid cards are swipe only and don’t have a chip on them, so it is possible that you will still see these cards in your business.

If your new business model is to take cards via a phone call or web order, make sure to review this blog about how to get the best rate possible and to protect yourself from chargebacks and fraud.

As always, if you have questions about this or anything else related to merchant processing, our customer service team members are ready to answer them. Please call us at 800-563-5981 option 2. We have implemented our pandemic disaster plan and are fully staffed to help you with these issues.


Best practices for key entering credit card transactions

John Mayleben, one of the nation’s first Certified Payments Professionals designated by the Electronic Transaction Association, is an MRA consultant and national expert on payment processing.