Are Contactless Cards Blowing your Budget

From your first morning coffee to your late-night bus ride home, using contactless payments have become a frequent part of everyday life. They are fast, reliable and safe, the perfect combination for a twenty-first-century lifestyle. 

The speed at which contactless payments are skyrocketing is astounding; between June 2018 and June 2019, contactless transactions increased by 88 million, as stated by statista.com, in the UK alone. As there is no minimum spend restriction on the transactions, contactless cards are used on everyday purchases from a pint of milk to a lunchtime sandwich. Although these payments may see small enough to be insignificant to your monthly budget, they all add up in the end.

The Benefits of a Monthly Budget

A monthly budget can be a difficult task, although there are plenty of online budgeting resources to help you. While it can still be tricky to keep track of the money going out of your bank account, having a monthly budget ensures you know where a set amount of money is going each month, whether it’s a food bill, a phone payment, or more significant sums on rent or a mortgage or tech device. Whether you are a strict budgeter or you get help from time to time by using cash loans for any cash emergencies, contactless spending might just be your downfall.

There are so many pros for contactless spending; however each of them comes with a con that can break your budget.

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  1. Contactless Transactions are Fast

True – They are the fastest way to get through the check out with your purchases. However, because of the time-saving nature of the transaction, it is often that you can leave without a receipt for your purchase. Firstly, for those budgeting a monthly wage, receipts are traditionally the easiest way to catalog your purchases; with no receipt, it doesn’t go in your budget and you spend your time at the end of the month wondering where this hole in your finances came from. Secondly, without a receipt, you cannot easily return an item so you end up without the cash and stuck with a new shirt that just does not fit right.

2. Contactless Transactions are Reliable 

True – Is it not often that your contactless card fails you at the register? Nonetheless, you might not have noticed but often, contactless payments can be made offline. Even the smallest of purchases like a single cappuccino cannot appear on your online card statement for a number of days making it seem as though you have more money in your account than you actually do. This makes it so easy to blow your budget and while not being aware that you are doing it. The card itself may be reliable but your online statement may not be, check for any ‘pending’ payments to avoid falling into this trap.

3. Contactless Payments are Safe

True – The payment itself is incredibly safe, and with banks adding extra security measures all the time, your money is as secure as it can be. Even so, the security of the card itself doesn’t stop you from overspending. All contactless spending has a cap per transaction and the number of transactions in a certain time period should be restricted. However, some banks will not ask you for a pin on the card until after 10 transactions, and that could end up being a lot of money that you didn’t budget for!

The popularity of contactless payments shows that the pros obviously outweigh the cons, but it is important to remember that small transactions add up to become big expenditures.

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