No, customers aren’t charged an extra fee to use tap-to-pay

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Consumers aren’t charged additional fees for using tap-to-pay methods instead of swiping or inserting their credit or debit cards.

Contactless payment methods, also known as tap-to-pay, have surged in usage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Contactless payment methods include debit or credit cards that just require you to tap the card reader to pay and mobile payment apps that let you pay with your phone

A post with several hundred likes and comments on Threads claimed that tap-to-pay comes with additional fees that customers would not otherwise be charged if they insert or swipe their card.

View on Threads

THE QUESTION

Are customers charged an extra fee to use tap-to-pay?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

No, customers are not charged an extra fee to use tap-to-pay.

[embedded content]

WHAT WE FOUND

There’s no difference in the cost of tapping, swiping or inserting a card. Banks and card networks do not impose additional fees on customers for paying with tap-to-pay cards as opposed to swiping or inserting their cards.

Wells Fargo, Commerce Bank, Citizens Bank and Capital One explicitly state that there is no additional cost, fee or charge for using the contactless payment method over any other method of paying with their cards.

Businesses have to pay something called an interchange fee to a bank whenever they process a credit card payment. Some businesses pass this fee onto their customers either by adding a surcharge or by discounting cash payments, but the interchange fees do not change based on whether a person swipes, inserts or taps their card. In theory, a business could choose to add a higher fee for contactless but it’s not because it costs them more to process that kind of payment method.

“Banks charge merchants a fee averaging about 2.5 percent when a credit card is used to make a purchase in-person, and the fee is the same regardless of whether the card is inserted, tapped/waved, or used via a mobile device,” the National Retail Federation said in a July 2020 press release.

Interchange fees can vary based on the payment’s processing method, but tap payments are part of the same processing method as swipe and chip payments, according to Motley Fool, an online investment guide service. That means merchants are hit with the same fees for each of those payment types.

Stripe, a payment processor, says that tap-to-pay is “one of the most secure payment methods available” because they are processed in a way that does not transmit sensitive personal information.

“The contactless tap to pay method is even safer than magnetic stripe (magstripe) or chip cards, which are more susceptible to account information transfer and fraud,” Stripe says.

[embedded content]

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

Follow Us Want something VERIFIED?

Text: 202-410-8808

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.