Businesses are starting to reopen after months of quarantine, but it's hard to know which stores are opening their doors to customers without calling or searching online.
To make the search process easier, Mastercard partnered with data analysis company Sixth Sense to launch ShopOpenings.com in the U.S. and Canada. This new online search tool allows you to confirm which stores and businesses are open to customers and if they accept contactless payments.
Shop Openings includes details on various types of merchants, from restaurants and grocery stores to apparel and dry cleaning/laundry services. When you submit a search, you'll receive businesses that are open based on successful Mastercard-branded transactions within the last 48 hours and up to the previous seven days.
Here's how to use the new tool:
The search results can be filtered by open stores or all stores (which may include closed locations marked "no info"). However, just because a business shows no information, that doesn't mean it's closed, but that there hasn't been any Mastercard-branded transactions within the past seven days.
Merchant information includes open/closed status, whether contactless payments are accepted (displayed as near-field communication (NFC) capable or not), type of industry, distance from the location you entered, address and a link to search more on Google.
You don't need a Mastercard to access Shop Openings, and it's free to use. It's also optimized for mobile phone use.
If you visit one of the merchants that accept contactless payments, consider tapping your eligible card (you'll know it's contactless if it's marked by a wave-like symbol on the front) or paying with a mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay. Some of CNBC Select's best ranking contactless cards include the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Citi® Double Cash Card. There is no enrollment necessarily to utilize contactless capability.