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Frequently Asked Questions: Contactless Technology

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Definitions & descriptions

What is the Contactless Feature?

It is a faster method of payment for low value purchases at participating merchants that avoids the need to physically swipe or insert a card into a Point Of Sale (POS) terminal. By simply waiving the contactless card within a close range of the terminal, the card will be detected and the transaction will be completed without entering a PIN. 

How does the contactless feature work?

It contains a tiny antenna (based on radio frequency) embedded into the card, which securely transmits payment instructions wirelessly to and from a specially adapted terminal.

What are the benefits of the contactless feature?

Contactless feature provides increased convenience and speed during the checkout process. The technology built into your card allows you to pay instantly, just by waving your card over a secure contactless terminal. There is no entering of PIN numbers, swiping, signing. You are ready to go in just a few seconds.

That is to say;

It's fast - There is no need to enter your PIN or sign for everyday low value purchases. There's no need to queue for so long. It is ideal at places where speed is essential, like stadiums, fast food restaurants, gas stations and more.

It's secure - Contactless payments are safe and secure. Your contactless card never leaves your hand, so you even have more peace of mind. Also, you are protected against fraud, just like you are with chip transactions.

Still a regular card - Continue to enjoy the benefits of your card on top of the latest contactless payment technology. Your card may still be inserted or swiped at card terminals for payment like a regular card.

Contactless feature security and usage

Is this technology as secure as traditional cards?

Yes, your contactless feature enabled card is just as secure as any other chip card and carries the same multiple layers of security protection since it uses the latest secure encryption technology. Contactless only works when a card is close to the card reader in the terminal. This makes it virtually impossible for any details to be intercepted while in use. Also, each card reader contains a security technology based on industry-wide standards.

Transactions are processed through the same payment network as (Europay, Mastercard and Visa - EMV) chip transactions.

Could I unknowingly have made a purchase if I walk past the reader or is there a chance that payments may be taken twice from my account?

No, your card has to be waved within a close range (less than 4 centimeters) of the payment reader or terminal for more than half a second and the merchant must have first entered the amount for you to approve.

Terminals can only process one payment transaction at a time, therefore reducing transaction errors. All terminals are tested and certified to confirm that a card is only read once before the transaction is concluded. As a safeguard, each transaction must be complete or void before another one can take place. In the unlikely event of fraud, you must notify us immediately of any unauthorised card use or any suspicious activities.

I carry many contactless cards in my wallet, which one will be debited if I touch my wallet to the reader?

It's required to take your contactless card out of your wallet to touch the reader - this will make sure the right contactless card is debited.

How do I know if my card is capable of doing contactless transactions?

Simply check if your card has the contactless symbol.

Contactless logo

Which merchants will accept my card?

Your card will be accepted for contactless transactions wherever you see the contactless symbol at the point of sale, meaning that the machine is enabled for contactless transactions, you can simply waive to pay. This is not only applicable on contactless enabled terminals locally but also globally, wherever the contactless symbol is displayed. We expect contactless feature to be popular at many of the locations you visit every day such as grocery stores, fast food outlets, coffee outlets, convenience stores, and transport providers.

What should I do if my contactless card has been lost or stolen?

If your card is lost or stolen, please let us know immediately by calling us on the numbers on the back of your card and we will cancel and replace it for you.

Can I use contactless to get cash out at an ATM?

Yes, if the machine supports contactless feature. However, ATM transactions will ask you to enter the PIN.

How do I use my contactless card for contactless transactions?

Just waive the card close to the terminal. You will hear a beep/see a light and get the receipt for the contactless transaction you have done (if available).

Will I get receipt for all the contactless transactions?

Contactless feature is designed to let you make low value transactions quickly and conveniently. Please let the merchant know that you need a receipt. However, the receipt is not directly available in some circumstances; for example, while paying for travel by waiving your card on an electronic ticket reader, or using a contactless card at a vending machine.

Where and when do contactless purchases appear on my statement?

Purchases made with contactless feature will be displayed on your statement normally and you will get to see them on your online banking account and mobile app as well just like any other purchase you make with a card.

My card currently does not have the contactless symbol. How can I get a card that can make contactless transactions?

Customers will automatically be issued a contactless card when their card is next renewed or replaced. You may replace your current card, by placing a replacement request through any of bank’s channels. However, standard replacement fees will apply.

Are there any fees for paying with contactless feature?

No. there are no additional fees for using your contactless card. However, standard fees and charges do apply.

How do I disable/turn off the contactless feature? Can I opt for the card without the contactless feature?

Contactless is a permanent feature of your card and can’t be disabled. You can still insert or swipe your card just as you always have and enter the PIN or sign the receipt, if you don't want to make a purchase using contactless. Contactless machines also accept chip cards.

Is there any impact on online transactions?

Contactless transactions can only be done at physical terminals, which are contactless enabled. Online transactions will continue to be processed the same way as they do presently.


Can I use the contactless feature immediately upon receiving my card?

No. The contactless feature does not work straight away on your card as it needs to be activated. The cardholder will need to use the card for a purchase transaction with the PIN once first, then contactless feature should work after this transaction. This applies to all printed plastics (newly issued / replaced / renewed cards).


What are the limits set for contactless transactions using my contactless card?

The maximum limit for a single purchase contactless transaction is EGP 600 (or the equivalent in other foreign currencies).

There is no daily limit on the number of contactless transactions. However, there is a daily limit of EGP 1,500 (or the equivalent in other foreign currencies) applied on multiple contactless transactions.

If your single transaction exceeds EGP 600, or if this daily limit of EGP 1,500 is consumed, you will have to use the card like a regular card by dipping it in the machine and you may also be asked to enter the PIN or sign the slip.

Are the contactless transaction limits valid globally or only in Egypt?

Yes, the contactless transaction limits apply locally and globally. Adding to these limits set by HSBC, globally each country has different contactless transaction limits which are set based on the local market consumption pattern. Finally, these limits depend on the terminal which would be used at that time, in that country.

I used my card outside Egypt in a Contactless transaction that is less than EGP 600 but I was asked to enter the PIN?

Please be aware that the contactless transaction limit may vary depending on local limits (may be more or less). For example, the maximum contactless transaction limit in the local currency of another country may be less than EGP 600 upon converting to Egyptian Pound. In such cases, the terminal will request a PIN or a signature on the Point Of Sale (POS) slip.

I used my card outside Egypt in a contactless transaction that is above EGP 600 and It was declined?

Please be aware that the contactless transaction limit may vary depending on local limits (may be more or less). For example, if the maximum contactless transaction limit in the local currency of another country exceeds EGP 600 upon converting to Egyptian Pound, any contactless transaction above EGP 600 up to the contactless limit of the other country evaluated in Egyptian Pound will be declined. To avoid the decline, you will have to use the card as regular by inserting or swiping it in the machine and entering the PIN or signing the Point Of Sale (POS) slip.

Can I request to increase / decrease the contactless transaction limits?

No, these limits cannot be adjusted.

What happens if my card is stolen – can the person use it repeatedly?

Safeguards are in place to mitigate the use of lost or stolen contactless card by a fraudster. The contactless transaction limit of EGP 600, and the maximum daily limit of EGP 1,500, would limit the card exposure to fraud through the contactless feature. Also, transactions are analysed and monitored by HSBC Egypt real time Fraud management system to identify fraud patterns and detect suspicious transactions. In addition to the fact that HSBC card system is generating an SMS for any transaction to alert customers in case of any fraud.

When the contactless transactions daily limit is restored?

Limits restoration takes place on daily basis as an automated process between 22:30 EGY Time and 02:00 EGY Time.

Which transactions qualify to impact the contactless transactions daily limit?

Any contactless transaction that is approved without entering the PIN or signing the slip will be counted towards the daily limit. Any PIN or signature verified contactless transaction will not count towards it.

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