Just one tap: A guide to payWave and PayPass

First it was the smart phone, now it's the smart credit card! Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass are increasing in popularity, as merchants and customers desire faster transactions.

Of course, with every new technology there is a fear of the unknown. The Mozo team has researched this new way of purchasing to bring you the facts about Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass credit cards. Here is the low-down:

Think you're ready to choose your credit card? Compare below. - last updated 25 October 2021

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Apply By 31 Oct 2021
    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. on purchases for up to 12 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Also 0% balance transfer for up to 12 months. Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $45
    -
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% balance transfer rate for 25 months and up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard

    Use your virtual card instantly once approved (typically within 60 minutes). Features include Tap n Pay with up to 55 days interest-free, transfer money to any bank account and exclusive access to MoneyMe perks. $0 annual fee for lower limits. Must be employed with decent credit history.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    16.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $209 $0 - $149 based on credit limit, $5/month for balances over $20.
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 10 Oct 2021
    humm90 Mastercard

    With up to 110 days interest free on your spending, this card is pretty unique in the market, and great for managing your daily spend. Plus, no foreign transaction fees overseas or online.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    23.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $99
    -
    Details
  • Westpac Low Rate - Cashback Offer

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus $400 Cashback with $4k+ spend on eligible purchases within 4 months of card approval. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Latitude Gem Visa

    Enjoy now. Pay later with Latitude. 0% interest for 6 months (purchases over $250). 0% interest payment plans at selected retailers. Up to 55 interest free days. Apply in less than 10 minutes. Must be over 18 to apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.95% p.a.
    No current offer
    $107 $8.95 monthly fee waived if outstanding balance less than $10
    -
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. balance transfer for 25 months, $0 annual fee for the first year and also receive 1 rewards point for every dollar spent. Purchase protection insurance. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $149 $0 in the first year
    Great Southen Bank Platinum Rewards
    Details
  • Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

    Enjoy 0% p.a on balance transfers for 15 months then 9.90% thereafter. No annual fee for the first year. Limited time only. Other fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Mastercard customers only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 15 months then 9.90% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 15 months and then 9.90% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • American Express Qantas Discovery Card

    Receive 10,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $750 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. Mozo Experts Choice Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details
  • HSBC Platinum Credit Card

    0%p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Terms and Conditions apply. Mozo Experts Choice Premium Rewards and Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 36 months and then 21.99% p.a.
    $129 $29 in the first year
    Rewards Plus
    Details
  • NAB StraightUp Card

    Pay no interest and no late payment fees, just a $10 monthly fee for a $1,000 credit limit. Plus, if you don't make any purchases and have an outstanding balance of $0 during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. Also pay no foreign currency fees when you shop online or overseas. Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Innovation Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing
    -
    Details
  • St.George No Annual Fee

    0% p.a. for 12 months on APR requested at card application. The special promotional purchase rate applies from card approval, after the promotional period, the rate will switch to the variable purchase rate. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends February 24th 2022.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 20.74% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $0
    -
    Details
  • American Express Low Rate Credit Card

    Competitive low rate with $0 Annual Fee. Get $100 back when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,000 on your new Card by 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only. Customers need an annual income of $50,000 or more.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    8.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 0% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends February 24th 2022.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 6 months then 13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Westpac Low Rate

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus 0% balance transfer for up to 28 months at 1% BT fee. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • American Express Cashback Credit Card

    Get 5% Bonus Cashback in the first 3 months and no monthly fee for the first 12 months. Additional 1.5% cashback with American Express Shop Small Campaign (conditions apply). Complimentary perks and insurances. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $0 in the first year
    Cashback Rewards
    Details
  • NAB Low Rate Card

    0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 32 months, plus a low ongoing purchase rate after that means you can spend with confidence. There's also up to 55 interest free days on purchases to help you manage your budget better.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    12.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.74% p.a. (0% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 24 Feb 2022
    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points ($4k min. spend in the first 90 days on eligible purchases). 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 1% BT fee applies. $49 First Year Annual fee and Rewards fee. New cards only. Offer ends February 24th 2022. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 24 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $200 $99 in the first year
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details

How it works

If your MasterCard or Visa credit card is due to expire, and you're waiting for your new card to arrive, it's most likely going to include either the payWave or PayPass payment feature. These credit cards have an embedded near-field communication (NFC) chip, which can transmit your card's info wirelessly which allows you to "tap and go."

The contactless payment is enabled through a radio antenna embedded in the credit card, which sends radio frequencies to the terminal. Most new credit cards that come with the payWave or PayPass don't allow you to deactivate the feature but you can still make purchases with a signature or pin.

At the moment most retailers offer payWave or PayPass, such as McDonald's, 7-11 and JB Hi-Fi. All the NFC chip credit cards we looked at have a maximum purchase limit of $100 with payWave and PayPass. So it's perfect for those small groceries at the shop!

It's pretty simple to use, you just tap or hover your credit card above the terminal and the transaction is processed. You don't have to select savings, cheque or credit as the transaction will automatically be charged to your credit card. You'll know if the transaction has gone through by the illuminated light and a display message will appear across the screen confirming the sale has gone through.

Benefits

Using a payWave or PayPass credit card is a fast way to shop because you don't have to swipe or insert your credit card in a traditional POS terminal and there's no pin or signature required. There is also the added security of not having to hand over your credit card to the teller. Nothing is worse than leaving your credit card on the counter and coming back to find that it has vanished!

Another benefit is that you don't have to carry cash around with you. Gone are the days of fumbling around for change or holding up long queues as you sign for your morning coffee!

What about security?

Although you can make a contactless payment with up to 4cm reach, most credit card companies require you to tap your credit card for the transaction to go through, ensuring you don't pay for another person's sale. Even if you do accidentally tap your credit card twice on the terminal, you won't be charged because every transaction generates a unique authentication code which cannot be used again.

The wireless technology can be concerning because no pin or signature is needed for a sale to be processed. Not to fret - all NFC cards use the latest chip technology, which come with secure encryption (cryptographic key) technology to protect you from thieves who might try to 'scan' the wallet in your pocket.

There's not much stopping a thief from hitting up the shopping centre with purchases under $100 at different outlets but as with other payment methods (e.g pin, signature), most credit cards provide a zero liability policy. This means that you will be covered for any unauthorised transactions, with 100% reimbursement. Some providers state that you must notify the institution immediately in order to get your money back.

Transaction fees

Although some payWave and PayPass credit cards have standard transaction fees, you won't be charged extra for using this method of payment.

Exclusions

Many payWave and PayPass credit cards have exclusions on usage. Usually cash advances and payment for traveller's checks are not allowed. Also, you can't pay off a bill at the bank or post office using payWave or PayPass.

The future of smart credit cards

Smart credit cards are a new way of purchasing, and the number of Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass credit cards are increasing. In the next few years most credit cards will have this payment option and NFC terminals will be rolled out in more and more retail outlets.

This is just the beginning, with so many new technologies being released to make life easier for the savvy shopper or everyday buyer. The next generation of smart phones are being developed, with features allowing you to "tap and go" with your smart phone. The iPhone 4 and above already give you the option to make a contactless payment with an iCarte case, which you can purchase from the Commonwealth Bank app Kaching.

With all these new credit card technologies it's good to know what it's all about. Say Goodbye to your wallet and hello to the future!

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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