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Making purchases with the quick wave of a cell phone or a plastic card–rather than a swipe–in front of a reader or scanner is becoming a reality as issuers and merchants begin to show support for contactless payments.

For several years, this type of payment was considered a gas station convenience, thanks primarily to ExxonMobil Speedpass. Now some credit unions and other issuers have begun putting credit/debit cards and key-fob tokens with radio frequency-based contactless payment chips into the hands of millions of consumers. Major card companies–including American Express, MasterCard, and Visa–also have launched initiatives to offer contactless payment devices.

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