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I am from India. Recently I went to a store and bought some goods. After I was handed my bill, I gave the cashier my debit card. I was busy on my phone and didn't give it much thought, and to my surprise, the cashier thanked me and returned my card. I did not tell him my PIN nor did I receive any OTP. But the money got transferred.

When I inquired the cashier about the transaction, he said that there is a "Wi-Fi" in my card and that's why he did not need the PIN or the OTP. How is this possible? I tried looking it up online but could not find much information. Thanks in advance.

  • Does your debit card have a VISA/Mastercard/Discovery logo on it? Most debit cards that I'm aware of can also be swiped for payment exactly like credit cards; the way you describe what happened sounds like what always happens at most stores or restaurants where things are bought. – GendoIkari Feb 18 at 16:51
  • Ha, I misread "India" as "Indiana"... I suppose things don't work at all the same over there! – GendoIkari Feb 18 at 16:52
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What the cashier said was likely that you have a card which has contactless payment enabled. Look at your card does it have a wifi kind of symbol if yes then he most likely got the payment through that.

Contactless payments use short-range wireless technology to make secure payments between a contactless card or payment-enabled device and a contactless-enabled checkout terminal. When you tap your card on a PoS machine with contactless symbol, your payment is sent for authorization.

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It will be a contactless card (They call it Pay Wave Feature) & the current RBI limits allow such a transaction to be of below INR 2000/- subject to a maximum of 5 transactions per day.

  • We have these in the UK. Maximum transaction amount £30; no limit to the number of transactions in a day, although if the bank's computer detects an unusual pattern it can decline the contactless payment and demand use of the PIN. It also does this at random intervals every few weeks. These cards are very popular and are contributing to the decline of cash. – Michael Harvey Feb 18 at 20:48

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