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Set Up Contactless Payment Now to Avoid Coronavirus Exposure at Checkouts

Man using a contactless payment terminal.
CMYK/Shutterstock

If you have a smartphone or smartwatch that supports contactless payments, there has never been a better time to turn that feature on. Everyone touches the payment terminal at the store, which means it’s the last thing you want your hands near.

Frequently touched surfaces like the buttons on payment terminals and fast food menu touch screens are, on a good day, rife with bacteria and pathogens that are gross to think about but, thankfully, mostly harmless. But, during a global pandemic, the stakes are much higher—especially when you consider the coronavirus can live on plastics for up to 72 hours.

If you’ve never bothered to set up contactless payment for your iPhone or other compatible devices, don’t feel bad. The practice has been very slow to catch on in the United States despite the proliferation of devices that support it.  I’ve had contactless payment set up for years now on my iPhone, and I must confess I only use it when I find myself at the store struck with the realization that my wallet is at home.

But these days it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to unnecessarily exposing yourself to illness and contactless payment is my go-to method now. You can read how to set up contactless payment for your iPhone as well as Android devices at our sister site How-To Geek.

Then, the next time you go to pay at the grocery store or anywhere else with a contactless payment system, you can avoid jamming your credit card into the machine, mashing your fingers on the pin pad, or picking up the finger-print covered stylus, and just wave your phone over the terminal like you’re performing a magic trick.

But, contactless magic or not, the CDC is still recommending everyone disinfect their phones daily—here’s how to do that safely.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »

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