Paywave: How does it work? What is the limit?

Paywave has revolutionised the way we handle money. Yet, there is great debate amongst people young and old as to whether Paywave is a stroke of genius or a disaster waiting to happen. So, we thought we would investigate the highlights and the downfalls of Paywave.

Paywave cards can come in the form of credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards. They will have a Paywave symbol on them, if your card does not have one of these then it is not equipped with the Paywave technology and you need to speak with your banking institution about acquiring a new Paywave card.


There are many benefits to paywave and contactless payments, however, they do also have risks of theft and loss like any other card.

However, new technology has the added advantage of being ahead of the hackers and in some ways having the newest technology is actually safer than older technology and cards as thieves and hackers have had more time to work their way around older safeguards.

Another positive however is Visa and Mastercards zero liability promises to their customers. They stipulate that if you have an Australian issued card you will not be held liable for fraud or unauthorized transactions if you have an issue with a transaction you just call them as soon as possible to have the transaction investigated.

Which is pretty amazing! They must be very confident in their product to be offering those kinds of reassurances!

When using paywave or contactless payments you are not required to hand over your card, this means the opportunity of card skimming is removed from the equation (most card skimming happens at this point of the transaction process).

Paywave or contactless payments have a $100 limit, therefore if your card is stolen or skimmed they will only be able to spend up to $100 without your pin number. This limit greatly reduces the amount available to fraud.

It does, however, mean that customers are required to enter their pin for purchases greater than $100.

All Paywave and contactless cards are equipped with built-in encryption and security similar to your computer, which is specifically designed to transmit data.

Banks and financial institutions are always updating this technology to keep their customers protected; therefore updating your card regularly is a good practice!

There is also no need to worry about being charged multiple times as each transaction has it’s own unique code to prevent customers from being charged twice.


  1. Tap your paywave or contactless card against the reader. The card only works when the card is within 4cm of the card reader.
  2. Listen for the beep and the green lights to ensure payment has been approved.
  3. Under $100? Then your transaction is complete!
  4. Over $100? You will now need to enter your pin to complete the transaction.


Whether you can get mobile phone Paywave or contactless payment will depend on your banking institution and your mobile device.

You should check with your bank if this service is available to you with your current device.

If it is available to you, you would need to download the relevant app and follow the installment instructions and then follow the above steps to make your Paywave transaction.


Want to go next level with Paywave?

Then checkout Visa’s new wearable’s range, they are waterproof and can be linked to any existing account and are especially designed for active use like running, swimming and active sports.

Visa are also working with Australian sunglass designers to develop a pair of sunglasses you can pay with! Paywave sunglasses, look out for this one!


It would appear that the banking institutions are going to great lengths to keep their customers safe and happy with this new technology and offering them zero fraud clauses. So it appears these times are a changing, again!


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