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Government-issued travel cards upgraded

Contactless credit cards allow purchasers to pay for items by tapping the cards on a merchant’s reader.

Starting April 9, Postal Service employees who use government-issued Citibank GSA SmartPay 3 travel cards will automatically receive a contactless version when their current ones expire.

Contactless payment cards allow purchasers to pay for items by tapping — rather than swiping or inserting — cards on a merchant’s contactless-enabled card reader.

The contactless feature helps secure cards by making them less vulnerable to devices such as skimmers, which criminals install on point-of-sale or self-service card readers to capture a cardholder’s personal information.

Each Citibank GSA SmartPay 3 card has a contactless symbol — which resembles a Wi-Fi icon pointing right — indicating it’s enabled for contactless payments.

When paying for an item, the purchaser taps the GSA SmartPay 3 card on the merchant’s contactless-enabled card reader to complete the transaction.

The cards can also be used normally in stores without contactless payment.

The GSA SmartPay 3 website has a video and FAQs with additional information.