Contactless Cards FAQs
Understanding Contactless Technology
What are contactless payments?
Contactless payments use short-range wireless technology to quickly complete payments between a contactless-enabled card or payment-enabled device and a contactless-enabled checkout terminal. A contactless Mastercard® is a chip card that has a near field communication (NFC) antenna, which enables close-range payments. When cardholders tap their contactless card at a contactless-enabled checkout terminal, their payment is sent for authorization.
What symbols should I look for?
Anytime you see the following symbols, you know that particular merchant or terminal accepts contactless payments.
Do I actually have to tap my card on the contactless-enabled checkout terminal?
No. You do not have to physically tap the card to the terminal. However, your card should be close (within 1-2 inches) to the contactless symbol.
How should I hold my card to the contactless-enabled checkout terminal?
The checkout terminal reads the antenna best when the contactless card is flat over the contactless symbol, instead of at an angle.
How long do I need to hold my card to the contactless-enabled checkout terminal?
You should hold your contactless card to the terminal for 1-2 seconds.
What are the benefits of contactless payments?
Contactless payments are easy, safe and secure. You simply tap your contactless card on the contactless-enabled checkout terminal. The payments are fast and convenient to use in places where you need to pay on the go. And, just like transactions made with a chip-enabled card, each contactless card transaction is accompanied by a one-time code that protects the payment information. So your contactless payments are also secure.
Unlike cash, contactless payments let you keep better records of your purchases. You can still do everything you would do with a non-contactless card, including adding a tip, getting cash back (if available), and more.
How does this technology compare to mobile wallets, like Apple Pay?
Contactless payments use the same NFC (Near Field Communication) technology as mobile wallets, such as Apple PayTM, Samsung PayTM, Google PayTM, Fitbit PayTM and Garmin PayTM.
Where can I use my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Card?
You can tap to pay wherever you see the contactless symbol at checkout or use the Mastercard® Nearby mobile app to find merchants who accept contactless. Millions of merchants around the world accept contactless payments, including fast food restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and more.
How do I know if a merchant terminal is contactless-enabled?
Contactless payments are accepted at a contactless-enabled checkout terminal displaying the contactless symbol. You can also use the Mastercard® Nearby mobile app to find merchants who accept contactless.
How do I use my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Card at a retailer that is not yet contactless-enabled?
If you don’t see the contactless symbol, or if the merchant is not set up to accept contactless payments, you can still use your contactless card at an EMV checkout terminal by inserting your card or at a magnetic stripe terminal by swiping your card.
Can I use my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Card when traveling internationally?
Yes. You can use your First Commonwealth Bank contactless Mastercard® card where Mastercard® is accepted by tapping it at a contactless-enabled checkout terminal wherever your see the contactless symbol, or by inserting the card into an EMV chip terminal, or by swiping the card in a magnetic stripe terminal. In fact, many countries have already adopted contactless payments.
What if I don’t want a contactless card?
Contactless cards will become the standard in the US and First Commonwealth Bank will be transitioning all debit and SmartPay cards to contactless cards. First Commonwealth Bank will transition our credit cards to contactless at a later date.
Are there any additional fees associated with contactless cards?
No. There are no additional fees to use your new contactless card.
Has my card information changed?
Your contactless card may have a new expiration date and 3-digit security code so be sure to update your information on your mobile wallets and with billers that charge your card regularly. All other account information will remain the same.
What should I do with my existing First Commonwealth Bank Card?
Once you activate your new contactless card, destroy your existing card immediately for security reasons.
Are contactless cards safe?
Yes. Every time you use your First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Card at a contactless-enabled terminal, each transaction is accompanied by a one-time code that protects your payment information, just like with the chip technology.
Can my contactless card be accidently picked up by a contactless-enabled terminal?
No. Your card must be within 1-2 inches of the contactless-enabled checkout terminal for the transaction to occur. Even if you happen to accidentally tap twice, you will only be billed once for your transaction.
Does the contactless antenna or chip provide an enhanced level of security if I make a purchase using the magnetic stripe on my card or if I make a purchase online?
No. The contactless and chip technology provides an enhanced level of security only when you tap your card or insert your chip card into a chip terminal to make an in-person purchase.
Will contactless cards allow others to track my location?
No. Personal data and card information is not stored on the contactless antenna or on the chip.
Can my card information still be compromised with a contactless card?
Contactless technology is only one layer of security to prevent your First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Card from being fraudulently used and cannot prevent all fraud including, but not limited to, web and phone purchases. You will continue to receive the security benefits of First Commonwealth’s Real-Time Fraud Monitoring and you’re always protected against unauthorized use of your card or account information with Zero Liability protection.
Can people "skim" information off a contactless card?
No. For every contactless transaction, a transaction-specific, one-time code is created that secures your payment information. The code cannot be re-used by fraudsters even if they were somehow able to get ahold of it. The information would be useless to them. Your name and account number are not transmitted from your card.
What should I do if my card is lost, stolen, or if I notice fraudulent transactions?
Call Customer Service immediately at 1-800-711-2265. You must contact us within 60 days of the date you received the FIRST statement showing the unauthorized charges.
Will my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Card still be secure if it only requires my signature to make a purchase?
Yes. The contactless antenna as well as the chip itself is what provides stronger protection against counterfeit fraud by creating a unique transaction code that protects your information when used at a contactless-enabled or chip-enabled terminal. Purchases made using either a “signature” or “PIN” will both receive the enhanced security against counterfeit fraud.
How do I pay with my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Debit or SmartPay Card at a contactless-enabled terminal?
You can tap to pay wherever you see the contactless symbol at checkout. Millions of merchants around the world accept contactless payments, including fast food restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and more. If you don’t see the Contactless Symbol, you can still use your contactless card at an EMV checkout terminal by inserting your card or at a magnetic stripe terminal by swiping your card.
How do I use my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Debit or SmartPay Card to make a purchase over the phone or online?
You will provide your card information the way you always have when you’re ready to make a purchase.
Do I need to select a new PIN to use with my new contactless card?
No. Your current PIN will work with your new contactless card.
When a First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Debit or SmartPay Card is issued, what card information changes?
The expiration date and the 3-digit security (CVV) code will change. Your card number and PIN will stay the same.
Will my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Debit or SmartPay Card still work at the ATM?
Yes. You can use your contactless card to withdraw cash, check your balance and more. Your experience at the ATM will remain the same; insert your card like you do today and follow the prompts on the ATM. If the ATM is chip-enabled, insert the card as instructed on the ATM with the chip facing up. Your card will remain in the ATM until your transaction is complete.
What should I do if I use a digital wallet or have recurring payments set-up on my existing card?
You will need to update your new expiration date and 3-digit security code within your digital wallet and with billers that charge your card regularly.
When will I receive my First Commonwealth Bank Contactless Debit or SmartPay Card? Do I need to request one?
If you are an existing First Commonwealth Bank cardholder, there is no need to request a contactless card. We will begin issuing contactless cards starting in late summer 2019. The new contactless functionality will be automatically included when your card is near its expiration date and due to be re-issued.
Mastercard® and tap & go are registered trademarks, and the circle design is a trademark, of Mastercard® International Incorporated.