How To Use PayPass

Using credit card in hotel

First, let me state the obvious.  PayPass is NOT the same as Paypal.  Now that we've got that out of the way, what is PayPass?

PayPass is a product of MasterCard.  It's a small credit card that you don't actually have to swipe.  It uses a radio frequency to send your card information to the PayPass reader.  All you have to do is tap the reader or wave it about an inch in front of a reader.   In general, you don't have to sign anything and it's quick and easy.  If your purchase is over $25.00, you may be required to sign.

Your PayPass may be something you keep in your wallet.  You may also request a key fob or a tag.  Regardless of where you keep it, make sure you don't lose track of it.  It is a credit card and could be used by someone who steals it just like a regular credit card could.  MasterCard does offer some protections like their Zero Liability Protection.  There is also protection against accidentally being billed twice for the same charge.  In addition, you must have your card within an inch or so of the reader for it to work.  That helps keep your card from picking up charges that you don't intend it to.  However, if you have more than one PayPass with different MasterCard issuers, and you keep them together in your purse or on your keychain, you need to be careful that you use the one you intend to.  Waiving your keys or wallet with more than one PayPass in front of a reader may send your charge to the wrong credit card.

Your PayPass does have the ability to be swiped by a regular credit card reader if a reader isn't available.  That allows you to replace your credit card with your PayPass instead of adding to an already overstuffed wallet. 

PayPass charges will show up on your regular statement just like any other charges on your credit card.  You should always check your statement carefully to make sure your charges are accurate.

You should be able to use your PayPass anywhere there is a reader displaying the appropriate logo.  As mentioned above, if a reader isn't available, you can swipe it just like a regular credit card.

PayPass is being touted as an alternative to carrying cash.  You can keep track of your expenditures more accurately than you can with cash.  With its tap and go technology, it may save a little bit of time.    Whether you are comfortable using this is something only you can determine.  In order to find out more about PayPass, as well as locate any MasterCard issuers who offer PayPass, see the PayPass website.


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