San Francisco residents can now charge up electric vehicles without having to swipe their credit cards, thanks to technology from MasterCard. Operators of ChargePoint America unveiled a pair of new EV charging stations, located at Pier 27 on the city's Embarcadero. To park and charge electric vehicles in the popular tourist area, drivers simply tap a PayPass-enabled MasterCard on the charging unit. System developers touted the contactless payment hardware's ability to facilitate accounting for fleet services ranging from city government cars to large corporations.

Drivers of gas-powered vehicles don't have to feel left out, however. Contactless credit card technology has popped up in gas stations across the country, with banks often offering incentives to cardholders who tap instead of swipe for payments. According to the Smart Card Alliance, contactless payments significantly increase security for cardholders, especially at public vending locations vulnerable to card skimmers and other identity theft techniques. Enhanced encryption ensures that EV drivers and other contactless credit card users can keep their account information private during transactions.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.