From the 4th of January, Citadele will begin issuing contactless payment cards. With these cards, customers will be able to shop and pay PIN-free in over 6000 shops throughout Latvia. Similarly, these cards can also be used for contactless payments abroad and may also be used in the usual way - confirming payments with a PIN code.
In the last year, Citadele installed approximately 2000 contactless card terminals throughout Latvia in order to create an adequate infrastructure for contactless payments. Currently, around every third Citadele card terminal supports contactless payments.
“The number of contactless card terminals in Latvia is already large enough that it is worth making these types of payments habitual for its inhabitants. We predict that customers will increasingly value the opportunity to pay quickly for small purchases up to 10 Euro - without putting their card in the terminal and entering their PIN code. For example, you can already make contactless payments in “Maxima” and “Rimi” supermarkets, various chains of chemists, several cafes and other retail outlets both in and outside of Riga. In the whole of Latvia there are around 6000 card terminals with contactless functions. It can reasonably be said that contactless payments can be made with every fifth terminal,” says Citadele's manager of the Department of Card and Mobile Payment Development, Andris Lazdiņš.
Up until now, Citadele has offered contactless payments on Riga public transport with the e-talons feature integrated into payment cards. Since July 2015, over 1.5 million journeys have been paid for using e-talons payment cards on Riga public transport.
In Latvia, payments up to the value of 10 Euro can be made using contactless cards by putting the card near the terminal when confirming the payment. A PIN code will be needed for larger payments. If contactless payments are made often, a PIN code may be required from time to time for security reasons.
Contactless cards are popular in Central and Western Europe, where the average limit for paying with a contactless card is 20 Euro. It has been calculated that contactless payments are three times faster than paying with cash and twice as fast as entering a PIN code.
Important information about contactless payments:
- The shop assistant will first confirm the payment and payment method, and payment can occur when the card comes within 3 - 7 cm of the card terminal. The terminal cannot take any money when the customer simply walks past it.
- When a new card with contactless technology is issued, the first purchase, whatever the amount, must be confirmed by entering the PIN code - this is how the card is authorised. Every so often, for security reasons, a payment will require the PIN code no matter the sum - follow the instructions on the card terminal.
- Contactless cards and card terminals at shops or service providers worldwide can be recognised by the universal antenna symbol.
- Like any other card, contactless cards can be used for internet purchases and withdrawing money by entering the PIN code.
- A map of all retail outlets where contactless payments are possible can be found on the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks website.