Supervision release 27 June 2016 – 45/2016

Contactless payment cards

The Financial Supervisory Authority in 2013 sent to banks issuing payment cards supervision letters (dated 15 July 2013 and 10 December 2013) in which it required that, for their customers who do not want to start using a contactless payment card, banks provide alternative cards without the contactless payment feature.

​The contactless payment feature was introduced in payment cards in 2013. In the early stage, there was not enough experience and information on its use and the risks involved. At that time, we also did not have enough information on how customers would respond to the contactless feature.

The number of cards with the contactless feature has greatly increased, and at the same time, retailers have replaced their payment terminals with contactless terminals. Card users have started using the new feature extensively, and the number of contactless payment transactions is rapidly increasing. Data available to the FIN-FSA show that the number of complaints or misuse related to the contactless payment feature is not currently significant.

The FIN-FSA has taken the position that banks can decide, based on their risk assessment and business strategy, whether they continue to provide alternative payment cards without the contactless feature. The FIN-FSA's position will enter into force on the date of the publication of this supervision release.

The FIN-FSA considers it important and continues to require that banks actively and clearly inform their customers, via various channels, of the features of the cards and of the security of card payments. This applies also to the contactless feature. The customers must also be informed of the security limits for cards and the possibility to restrict the online use or the geographical usage area of the card. In particular, customers must be reminded that e.g. in combined credit/debit cards, the security limits are separate for the credit and debit facilities. In the case of combined cards where the customer cannot as a rule choose whether to use his debit or credit card account when making a contactless payment, the card holder must be informed clearly and unambiguously of which account will be charged in contactless payments.

For further information, please contact

Market Supervisor Pasi Orava, tel. +358 10 831 5567 or
Senior Risk Expert Anne Nisén, tel. +358 10 831 5211 or