When I'm paying by contactless debit card, I want to be sure that the cashier didn't make a mistake when inputting the amount to be paid in the terminal. Thus, I almost always ask them to show me the terminal screen to see the amount myself.

Is the cashier obliged to show me the screen? Yesterday one refused to do so. He proposed a confirmation receipt which he gave me afterwards. I'd prefer seeing the screen to save the unnecessary hassle if the amount on the screen is incorrect.

If I'd like to know more about these rules, should I contact my bank, my card provider (Mastercard) or the terminal provider? If the latter, how can I know who's the terminal provider?

Edit: the cashier told me the amount to be paid. I knew how much I was supposed to pay. They didn't show me the terminal screen.

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    What country is this? In my country (UK) no normal retailer would do that. You have to touch the terminal with your card, how come you can't see it? Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 15:17
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    @MichaelHarvey you do get those sort of wedge shaped portable units though, where the tap-able bit and the screen are at an angle. It's easily possible with those for the screen to be facing towards the merchant, while only the tap-able bit is facing the customer.
    – AakashM
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 19:27
  • @AakashM - it is good and generally accepted practice to state verbally the amount to be paid and to show the screen to the customer. I keep my card well away from the sensitive zone until I am completely sure I want to pay the amount that would be processed. If resistance is encountered, I would hand back or leave the goods and walk away. In my country, there is a limit on contactless transactions, and once that is reached, or at random, a manual PIN is needed. You see the screen then. In fact my bank allows disabling the contactless feature of my card altogether. Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 19:53
  • @MichaelHarvey I'm not disagreeing with you, just suggesting one possible answer to your question "how come you can't see it?"
    – AakashM
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 6:57

2 Answers 2


To answer the question, the cashier is not obliged to show you the screen, however good that practice might be.

But then you are not obliged to authorise an unknown amount either.

The cashier is saying "Authorise this before you walk off with the goods" and if you don't feel able to do that, just walk off without the goods and without paying an unknown amount. It's a waste of everyone's time (yours because you have spent time choosing; theirs because they have to put everything away again), but it's really the only option.

The probability of having a transaction fraudulently authorised is so low (at least according to the industry) that if your card has actually authorised a transaction, neither your bank nor the store are likely to refund it. "But I didn't know how much it was" is unlikely to wash.


I am not sure that the fact you want to pay with a contactless card is relevant.

I wouldn't hand them cash or use a debit card or a credit card without knowing how much I was being charged. I wouldn't insert the card, swipe the card, or wave the card over the sensor before knowing the exact amount.

Getting a receipt afterword doesn't solve the problem.

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