Introduction: Contactless Payments for Motorcyclists (keep Your Gloves On, Pay With Your Arm!)

About: Just trying to make my life easy, on a very student-y budget

As a motorcyclist who rides all year, I get pretty sick of taking my gloves off every time I have to pay for a toll, petrol, drive thru, etc.

Usually, it will go something like this;

pull up

bike into neutral

gloves off

open pocket

search frantically for card

open other pocket

search frantically for card

stress about the traffic I'm holding up

remember card is in my purse

side stand down

get off bike

take backpack off

unzip, find purse

use my numb and cold fingers to eventually get my card out of my purse


card back in purse

purse back in bag

bag back on back

drop gloves

retrieve gloves

self back on bike

side stand up

close pockets

gloves on

bike in gear

zoom off

Not really ideal. I've come up with a solution, you don't even need to be in neutral.

Step 1: The Things That I Used

I used what I had available, most of these things can be swapped for whatever you have.

- pre-paid debit card (you can use your normal bank card, a spare, a credit card, anything) - note, it must be contactless.

- small amount of material. I used part of a broken cloth shopping bag. you can use a shirt, sock, old curtain, bed sheet, anything twice the size of your card. Bonus points if it is recycled.

- pen (use a pencil, a marker, I'm not the boss of you)

- motorcycle jacket that you wear the most (if you're a motorcyclist already, you presumably already have one)

- needle and thread (can be machine sewn, can probably even be glued or stapled)

- scissors

Step 2: Card

First, check that the card you want to use can be used contactlessly. the little WiFi looking symbol will indicate this (next to the chip on mine) If the card is new, make a payment using contactless to ensure it works.

Step 3: Draw

Draw around your card onto the material that you will use. leave a small gap (1-2 cm) along one of the long edges, and draw around the card again. Add a small flap onto one of the short edges (I drew around the end of my card to make sure it was uniform, it doesn't matter if it's messy, nobody will see this)

Step 4: Cut It Out

Cut it out exactly like the picture above. Make sure you leave about 1 cm around the outside of the drawn lines on all sides, apart from the short side with the flap.

Step 5: Fold

Fold the long sides towards each other, and line the lines up with each other on both sides. I pinned it, it makes it easier to sew, but it's optional.

Step 6: Sew

Sew along the drawn lines, but not inside them. leave the end with the flap open, do not sew it. It should create a pocket for your card. You can sew it with your card inside to ensure that it will fit nice and snug. You could also glue or staple this.

Once you have sewn 2 long sides and one short side, you can tuck the little flap over the card and back inside the pocket. This should stop the card from accidentally slipping out, but you can still access it if needed.

Step 7: Jacket

Get your motorcycle jacket, and take the lining out if there is one. You can put it back in after, it's just so you can access the sleeve.

Step 8: Position

Position your arm as though you are using a contactless card reader. Your arm will probably be bent about 90 degrees, and you'll probably want the inside of your wrist/ forearm on the reader.

You also most likely want this on your right arm (in the UK) as toll booths, drive thru petrol stations and other "pay from your vehicle" things are on the same side of the road as the driver sits in a car. (if you ride on the left hand side, put it in your right sleeve. You will also be able to keep your clutch pulled in -left hand- as you pay.)

If you are not in the UK, when deciding on which arm to use, consider what hand you use for your clutch, what side toll booths are on, and which your dominant hand is.

Put a pin in your jacket on the part of your arm that would touch the card reader in that position. make sure that the pin goes all the way through the material.

Step 9: Inside Out

Turn the arm of the jacket that you have pinned inside out. you should be able to see where the pin is, this is the indication of where you need to cut the mesh lining of your jacket (ONLY CUT THE LINING - for obvious reasons, don't cut through the impact resistant fabric)

Place the card pouch on the pin and cut a line on the short side closest to the elbow, not the wrist. This ensures that you will not lose your card out of your wrist if it happens to wiggle free. Shove the card in the pouch into the slit, closed short side first.

Step 10: Sew

Sew the card pouch to the mesh lining (again, obviously don't sew though the outside of your jacket)

I just tacked mine, I used big, ugly stitches, just to make sure it doesn't fall out. It doesn't need to be pretty, it just needs to hold it in place.

Once it's sewn (or glued, or whatever) tuck the flap end behind the rest of the mesh lining, but don't sew it closed. This way, you can still access your card if you need to put it in the reader, change cards, renew it or similar.

Step 11: Test It Out!

When buying petrol, snacks, tolls, drive thru, just touch your forearm against the card reader! There is no reason why you can't use this when you're inside a shop either, just make sure that you're spending under £30 (or the limit on your contactless spending)

No need to take gloves off, or even put the bike in neutral.

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