"Would you like to tap?" The Mr Price Home cashier posed the question tentatively as I handed her my debit card to pay for goods to the value of just over R400, prompting me to ask how customers generally respond to being asked to "tap" their cards rather than keying in their pin. "Some are happy to, but many prefer not to," she said. Some people aren't aware that their new credit or debit cards are "contactless enabled", or "tap 'n go". Identified by a wireless symbol on the card, when lightly applied to a contactless point of sale terminal the card allows a payment to be processed without the need for a pin or signature, thanks to wireless chip technology. As a security measure the "tap" only works for purchases of up to R500 - R200 in the case of Absa. Any more than that and the user is prompted to key in their pin. While common in many countries, "tap 'n go" debit and credit cards are fairly new to South Africa - Nedbank and Absa, for example, only started introducing them to th...

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