Bus Company Reports Major Losses from Contactless Payments

calendar iconSep 9, 2022

A UK bus company has introduced a ban on contactless payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay following losses of £10,000 (€12,000 or $12,200) in just three months. It has also limited all contactless payments to £10.

Speaking to Echo News, a representative of Ensignbus—which serves the Essex region of England—explained that there has been a rise in fraud surrounding contactless payment via smartphones, and that while CCTV can help catch culprits, ‘the sheer scale of the issue… means it’s not that simple’. The representative noted that while Apple Pay’s security was excellent on the consumer side, it was not so helpful for businesses.

Agilence, a U.S. provider of data analytics surrounding loss prevention, reported last year that the increase in contactless payments was making it harder for merchants to track and contest income losses. It cites data showing that only five percent of merchants successfully challenge Apple Pay or Google Pay chargebacks, in which a customer requests a refund from their payment company despite having used a service or not having returned purchased goods.

Contactless card fraud is also increasing, with Cashfloat—a UK lending company—saying 2020 saw nearly 500,000 incidents, with £27 ($33 or €32) stolen via ‘tap and pay’ services in Britain every minute. While larger businesses are better able to balance such losses with added charges for consumers, they can be seriously damaging to smaller businesses.

We don’t like putting these restrictions on… however we have little choice when £10K has been lost through contactless non-payments over the last three months alone. As a small business, these sorts of losses are unsustainable and could result in service cuts or ultimate closure of the business if left unchallenged.
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2022