Payment etiquette 101: Getting credit, checking out online and bacon-wrapped bacon

October 12, 2021

The way we pay and get paid is changing fast — from checkout technology and e-commerce security to person-to-person transaction etiquette, it’s hard to keep up. Once again, our advice columnist shares her tips on navigating the new world of payments.

I call it Pet Sentry_5000. It’s kinda like a nanny cam but for your pandemic puppy/kitten/baby tortoise. Well, someone’s got to keep an eye on Fido when you’re back in the office and gossiping around the water cooler! All I need is a bit of cash to get me started, but I’m new to the country and I’ve never borrowed before. Short of turning to a loan shark, where else could I get credit?

It seems like everyone found themselves a furry friend during lockdown. Heck, I adopted a Goliath birdeater tarantula to keep me company and he’s proved very effective at keeping other people at least two meters away. But playing with sharks is dangerous business indeed.

Thankfully, while the world has been closed, a revolution accelerated at pace. It’s called open banking, a mechanism that allows you to share access to your bank account history with trusted providers, such as Lendio or Rocket Mortgage, to help them assess whether you’re eligible for a loan. You might also be able to get the same service from your bank. Or benefit from your other financial data. So even if you don’t have traditional credit history, you’re one step closer to launching Pet Sentry_5000 — coming soon to a store near you.

I’ve developed quite a habit of ordering everything to my doorstep. Delicious dinner delivered? A rideshare to meet friends? Stream the latest movie or send a last-minute birthday gift to my mother? Check, check, check! Instant gratification. The only thing that’s slowing me down is having to key in my card details every time. It’s such a hassle. There’s got to be a better way?!

You’re not alone in your new shopping habits! Mastercard research shows 62% of consumers purchasing more often online, and many will keep using new digital merchants once the pandemic is over. But many are also frustrated, too.

Consider saving your Mastercard credit or debit card with your favorite merchants to make checking out faster and more convenient, like 79% of consumers have done. Did you know that saving your Mastercard as default can make online shopping even more rewarding? For instance, you can get Amazon Prime in UAE, or get benefits at DoorDash, Lyft, and others in the U.S. You can feel confident your transaction is safe and secure with embedded security features such as zero liability. With these awesome perks of using your Mastercard, you’ll be all set the next time you don’t feel like cooking or if you need a last-minute gift.

During most of the pandemic, my credit card statements were pretty routine. But over the summer, I attended a lot of pandemic-friendly outdoor festivals and street fairs and suddenly my credit card is full of new charges, some of which I didn’t recognize. I even called my card company to report one suspect transaction, kicking off the complex chargeback process before realizing that the mysterious $10 charge was, in fact, that regrettable deep-fried bacon-wrapped bacon. I was so embarrassed … on many levels. How can I avoid this in the future?

Next time, try eating a meal heavy on whole grains and fresh vegetables before you hit the midway. Oh, about credit cards? You’re not alone. A 2020 survey showed that more than 1 in 7 consumers have mistakenly disputed a legit transaction – and that was just as the pandemic spurred an accelerated shift to digital. But everyone recognizes that a lack of clear purchase details can be frustrating. Ethoca,a Mastercard company, offers a Digital Receipts service for issuers that allows issuing banks to share full itemized receipts directly in their digital channels to reduce this kind of transaction distraction, delivering more peace of mind for their cardholders and less hassle for everyone.