6 min read

You can pay digitally - and contactless - with your card anywhere and for any amount. Even for small amounts. Perhaps you already pay with your card at the supermarket or in that fantastic web shop. But do you also do that at the baker's, the pub or the newsagent's?


Digital payments with your card

There are two ways to use your card:

  1. You insert your card into the retailer’s payment terminal.  This is the standard card payment.
  2. You hold your card in front of or against the retailer's payment terminal. This is called contactless payment. Newly issued cards are equipped with this technology as standard. Often the term NFC or Near Field Communication is used. You will recognise NFC by the four waves on your card.

How does a standard card payment work?

  1. The retailer enters the amount, you check it on the screen.
  2. You insert your card into the payment terminal.
  3. You enter your PIN.
  4. The terminal checks your PIN, the validity of your bank card and your account balance.
  5. The terminal tells you that your payment has been accepted.
  6. The amount is transferred to the retailer’s account.
  7. You take back your card and receive a receipt.
Digital payment: pay quickly and easily with a card or smartphone.

How does a contactless payment work?

Contactless payments are super convenient and the most hygienic way to pay for your purchases. They are 100% safe and even faster than a standard card payment. You don’t even have to touch the keyboard of the payment terminal to complete your purchase:

  1. The retailer enters the amount, you check it on the screen.
  2. You hold your card in front of or against the contactless payment terminal.
  3. For amounts up to 50 euros you do not need to enter a PIN. For higher amounts (and when the total of your purchases under 50 euros is higher than 100 euros) you do have to enter your PIN. That way, it remains safe for everyone.
  4. Your card communicates via radio waves with the payment terminal. The terminal then checks the validity of your card and the balance on your account.
  5. A sound or light signal confirms your payment. That's it!
  6. The amount is transferred to the retailer’s account. You will receive a receipt.

Which cards can I pay with?

  • Debit cards are linked to your payment account. The amount is debited directly from your account. The debit cards issued by Belgian banks support both Bancontact and Maestro. Therefore you can pay with your debit card in Belgium and abroad.
  • Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard are the most widely used. Followed by American Express. With a credit card you can pay (inter)nationally. To obtain a credit card, you must meet a number of conditions. There are 2 types of credit cards:
    • A credit card with deferred payment is the most common: once a month, on a fixed date, all payments are added up and debited from your account as a single total amount. You do not pay any debit interest for this.
    • There is also a 'real' credit card that is subject to consumer credit. This allows you to spread your payments over a long(er) period. You pay debit interest on the amount not yet repaid.
  • Others: e.g. electronic meal vouchers and eco-cheques. These cards are accepted by certain (usually larger) retailers.

Do you see this sticker?

Then you can be sure that this retailer offers digital payments.