TAP AND GO
How does it work?
f you’ve ever used a Myki card then you’ve used ‘Tap and Go’ but what is it actually?
‘Contactless Payment’ or ‘Tap and Go’ is a method used by credit cards, debit cards, key fobs and even your smartphone to communicate with a terminal using radio waves. This special method is called ‘Radio-frequency identification’ or RFID.
The way that it works is inside your card is a small circuit chip with a little antenna that is constantly waiting for an electrical signal from a device like the Myki Reader or the pay terminal at the shops. When this signal is received, your card checks that the signal is the correct signal and if it is, will send out the required information. So using the example of a Myki, this is how it works:
- The Myki reader is constantly sending out an electrical signal which proves that it’s a real signal and is asking for your Myki card information.
- When you place your Myki against the reader, it’s ‘turned on’ briefly by the nearby signal.
- Once turned on, your Myki checks to see that the signal is a real one (often by the use of complicated passwords).
- When verified, your Myki will then update it’s information by deducting the trip cost from how much money you have on it and send a confirmation signal.
- The reader gets this confirmation and the transaction is complete!
All of that happens in a matter of seconds! It’s also the reason why you have to hold your Myki or Debit Card for a second or two as it’s not instantaneous. If you move your card too early, the transaction is interrupted and nothing happens so that way you can’t accidentally be charged twice!