Square Contactless Payments

Accept contactless payments easily and securely with Square.

Make selling smoother for your business with contactless payment solutions and hardware from Square.

Contactless card payments 101

What is a contactless payment?

A contactless payment is when a customer pays for something by tapping or hovering their contactless card or smartphone over hardware, which then wirelessly transmits the payment information. It allows customers to just tap and go, without handing over, inserting or swiping their cards or entering their PIN.

How do contactless payments work?

Contactless payments use near-field communication (NFC) technology, which works similarly to radio frequencies. When payment devices and reader devices are held in close proximity and activated, their NFC chips exchange encrypted data, which then sends a message to the customer’s bank to process the payment. It creates a lightning-fast checkout flow that’s not just convenient, but one of the most secure payment methods around.

Benefits of contactless payments

Fast transactions.

Often deal with long busy queues? Contactless payments can be up to ten times faster than other methods, speeding up the checkout process for you and your customers.

Secure payments.

Encrypted end-to-end, touchless payments keep your customers safe from fraud. It’s safer for retailers too, with limited chargeback rights, and none for lost or stolen cards.

Smooth customer experience.

Offering contactless payments as a payment method can improve relationships with customers by providing a smooth and seamless checkout experience with your business.

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Types of contactless transactions and payments

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Contactless cards

Most modern credit and debit cards are equipped with a small contactless chip. Look out for a small logo with four curved lines, just like the Wi-Fi symbol, but turned on its side. The logo is also found on payment hardware and readers that accept contactless payments.

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Customers can link their credit or debit cards to their smartphones, so they don’t need to carry their bulky wallets with them. Apple Pay or Google Pay all allow customers to pay using a digital wallet, set up on their phone or smartwatch.

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Payment apps

Similar to smartphone payments, but instead of opening their digital wallets, customers can open a dedicated app on their device. Apps give customers a way to pay quickly and securely in just a few taps.

See how easy it is to accept contactless payments with Square.

Choose between two simple methods and start taking contactless payments, fast.

Contactless Hardware

1. Create a free Square account.

Signing up is simple. Just go to your Square app or web browser, enter your information and link your bank account. Depending on your bank, this may take up to five working days.

Create account ->

2. Find a contactless card reader that suits your needs.

Easily find the Square contactless hardware that’s best for you. Visit the online shop and look at the features of Square Reader or Square Terminal.

Shop hardware ->

Tap to Pay on Android™

1. Download the free Square Point of Sale app.

Get started for free today by downloading the Square POS app directly on your Android phone. Enable Tap to Pay on Android, then add an item or key in an amount.

Download the app ->

2. Start taking contactless payments with your Android phone. No additional costs or hardware needed.

Ask your customer for their chosen contactless payment method. Simply have them hold it over the back of your Android phone.

Find out more about Tap to Pay ->

Hardware designed to process contactless payments of all kinds.

Square has all the sleek and professional-looking hardware you need to accept contactless card payments fast.

Explore all hardware options ->

Square Reader

Take contactless and chip and PIN payments anywhere with a card reader that pairs directly with your mobile device.

Square Terminal

Take payments, print receipts and run your business with a powerful, smart and portable card machine.

Square Register

Get an all-in-one till system with a dedicated customer display and built-in POS software that lets you start selling straight out of the box.

Square Stand

Turn your iPad into a professional point of sale and take every kind of payment.

Getting started with contactless payments is simple and free at Square.

No long-term contracts, no hidden fees, no surprises. Sign up for free now and start taking contactless payments with Square.


  • What is the contactless payment limit per day?

    With contactless becoming a more popular payment method than ever at the checkout, the contactless payment limit for card payments increased from £45 to £100 in October 2021. If a customer wants to make a contactless payment with a credit or debit card that’s higher than £100, they’ll need to enter their PIN. When using digital wallets, there is no contactless payment payment limit.

  • Where can I use contactless payments?

    Most retailers in the UK accepts contactless payments, including most shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, public transport and even taxis and vending machines. Some places do still require customers to spend a minimum amount to make contactless payments.

  • How do I set up Square as a contactless payment solution?

    There are two methods you can use. For the first, simply create a free Square account. Signing up is simple, you just go to your Square app or web browser, enter your information, link your bank account. Then shop for Square hardware that meets your needs. Visit the Square online shop and look at the features of Square Reader or Square Terminal.

    For the second method, you can turn your own Android phone into a contactless card reader. Download the free Square POS app, enable Tap to Pay on Android and add an item or key in an amount. Then just ask your customer for their chosen contactless payment method. Have them hold it over the back of your Android phone to pay.

  • How much can I spend on a contactless payment?

    There is a £100 limit in the UK for contactless card payments, but if you have customers that want to spend more than £100, they can still choose to pay through chip and PIN card payment, cash or other forms of contactless payments, such as mobile payments.

  • What is contactless payment technology?

    Contactless card technology works through NFC, which stands for ‘near field communication.’ It’s the technology that powers contactless payments through a type of radio frequency identification (called RFID for short). NFC transactions take place over a specific radio frequency that enables the card or smartphone to communicate with the card reader when they’re close together (usually 10 centimetres or less).

  • How do I know if a card reader accepts contactless?

    You can tell if a card reader takes contactless payments by looking for the contactless symbol, which looks like the Wi-Fi signal turned on its side. If you see the symbol, the card reader is enabled for contactless payments. The same is true for contactless cards – they will also have the contactless symbol.

Android is a trademark of Google LLC. The Contactless Symbol is a trademark owned by and used with permission of EMVCo, LLC.