tap and pay

What is tap and pay and how does it work?

Tap and pay allows you to make a purchase using your NFC enabled phone in a simple, secure and convenient way. When the payment terminal is tapped against the back of your device at a retail location where Mastercard contactless is accepted, your device will wake up and prompt you for a PIN code to complete the transaction.

How do I activate tap and pay?

You need to update your mobile operating system (Android OS 4.4 or later, iOS 8 or later) on your device to be able to use tap and pay functionality on that device.

What is the difference between “Tap & Pay” and “NFC” payments?

The terms – Tap & Pay and NFC – cover the same technology (NFC). Tap and pay is a payment service and NFC is a technology that enables contactless communication between two devices – one of them being your device – over an air interface.

The terms “tap and go”, “contactless” or “touch and go” also mean the same thing as tap and pay.

Will my phone work with contactless payment terminals?

Contactless payment terminals are enabled for accepting NFC-based transactions, so your device must have a secure NFC chip in order to support tap and pay. Please refer to the list of NFC-enabled Android phones and Apple iPhones which support Mastercard’s tap and pay service here . If your phone is not one of the devices listed, you can check with your manufacturer if it supports NFC.

What are the benefits of using tap and pay?

Tap and pay technology represents an enhancement to traditional payments, allowing simplicity for both merchants and customers in terms of easy to integrate point-of-sale terminals or online shopping platforms, with fast, secure and easy checkout.

It is also the perfect solution for the “transition” period between traditional cards and virtual wallets in markets where contactless cards are not yet prevalent.

Can I use tap and pay with my device?

Yes, you can use your NFC enabled phone to make a purchase at locations accepting Mastercard contactless.

How does the transaction process between my phone and a merchant’s payment terminal work?

The transaction process consists of several phases, which are handled by your device and the terminal:

  1. When you would like to make a Mastercard contactless purchase at a retailer where tap and pay is accepted, simply wake up your phone, select the contactless payment icon on your home screen*, and hold the back of your phone against the contactless payment terminal.

*Your device may use other means for you to activate tap and pay functionality (e.g., dedicated button, NFC tag). Please refer to the user guide available at your app store for more information.

  1. A prompt will appear on your device requesting a PIN code. Enter the 4-digit PIN code displayed on your device and hold it close to the terminal for a few seconds until you hear a beep or see the “approved” message confirming that the transaction was completed successfully.

How do I set up my device to use tap and pay?

To use tap and pay, you need to make sure you have installed the latest version of your mobile operating system (e.g., Android OS4.4 or iOS 8) on your device and enabled NFC in settings. You will also find our Mastercard tap and pay app pre-installed if your device is certified by Google Play or Apple Store. If your device and operating system is not listed, please check with your operating system provider for availability of the Mastercard app in the future.

What if my phone does not have NFC?

If your phone does not have a secure NFC chip installed, we recommend that you upgrade to one of our NFC-enabled Android phones or iPhones which support Mastercard’s tap and pay service.

If you do not wish to upgrade your device or NFC is not available for your phone, there are other ways in which you can use tap and pay:

  • If the contactless payment terminal supports a web browser on your mobile phone, you can browse to a mobile website via the terminal’s web browser, but you will be required to enter your card details online.
  • Contactless payment terminals can also read virtual cards stored on your phone for example in an app. Please refer to the Google Play Store or Apple Store for more information on Mastercard virtual cards that are available on Android and iOS operating systems. If you would like to receive a physical card, you can request one from your financial institution where you hold your account.
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