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Contactless PoS terminal - Basic FAQ | Future of Next Generation Payments for Shopping in India

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What is ‘Contactless’ PoS Terminal?

Contactless PoS Terminal works on the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and therefore is also called NFC PoS Terminal. It allows NFC/Contactless Card holders to make faster payments at merchant locations even without taking his NFC Card out of the wallet. Just a tap of Card or Wallet having the Card is enough for making the payment.

How does ‘Contactless’ PoS Terminal work with NFC form factor?

The contactless payment feature allows the contactless Card Holders to make payments with a simple tap of their card on the NFC PoS terminals. Card needs to be brought within a distance of 3 CMs to the NFC Card reader inbuilt in the terminal to facilitate transmission of Card details from Card to terminal.


What is the utility of Contactless Card (Tap and Go) Payments? 

Contactless payments work as Queue buster because of elimination of steps like swiping or dipping the Cards, entering PIN etc. and are therefore useful at quick service restaurants, Super Markets, INOX/PVR type cinemas etc. to speed up the payments.

What is the need of installing NFC Terminals at merchant locations? 

Contactless payments are popular in countries like Australia, Singapore, UK etc. In India, ICICI Bank has commenced issuance of NFC Debit Cards at select Metro Centres. SBI is going to issue NFC Cards from April 2015.

RBI has issued the draft guidelines for waiver of PIN requirement in case of use of NFC Cards at POS Terminals, up to transaction amount of Rs. 2000/-. After issuance of final guidelines by RBI, HDFC, Axis and many other Banks are likely to issue NFC Cards and deploy NFC terminals. Therefore, in order to take early movers advantage and enable acceptance of NFC Cards, NFC Terminals need to be deployed at the Metro and other Centres where NFC Cards will be issued.

Whether Chip and EMV Cards can also be accepted at NFC terminals? 

Yes. NFC PoS terminals have integrated NFC reader in addition to Chip and EMV readers and hence accept Cards with all form factors i.e. Magstrip, Chip and NFC

Like present arrangement, whether last four digits of Card number are to be entered at PoS terminal at the time of accepting payment by NFC Card?
No. This requirement has been removed for NFC form factor.

What are the variants of NFC terminals? 

During Pilot phase, which is likely to commence from end of April 2015, following two variants of NFC terminals will be deployed:

  • Desktop PSTN with NFC (Vx520)
  • Portable GPRS with NFC (Vx 675)



What are the additional formalities for sourcing of NFC PoS terminals?

There is no change in the merchant on-boarding process, KYC, documentation requirement and the approval structure for NFC terminals.

Whether both the Technology Service Providers (TSPs) i.e. Prizm and ATOS can process NFC transactions?

No. Presently only Prizm switch is capable of processing the NFC transactions. Therefore, initially the services of only Prizm will be utilized for deployment of NFC terminals. Subsequently, after up gradation of ATOS switch, their services may also be used.

Whether merchants will have to pay any additional charges for NFC terminals

 No. To begin with no additional charges are being levied for NFC terminals

Will there be any change in the Chargeback or Dispute Resolution process for NFC Card transactions? 

NFC Cards are built either on Magstripe or EMV (Chip) platform. In India NFC Cards are being issued only on EMV platform..