The spending limit for contactless card payments in the UK is being increased from £30 (US$35.33) to £45 (US$52.99), UK Finance has announced.
The new spending limit will begin to roll out from 1 April 2020.
“The changes were already under consideration by the industry, but the process has been expedited as part of the industry’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak to support consumers who choose to pay using contactless at this time,” UK Finance says.
“From 1 April 2020, consumers will begin to see an increasing number of retailers accepting contactless card payments up to the new £45 limit.
“Given the pace at which this change is being rolled out, the new limits will take some time to be introduced across all retailers, including some of those facing additional pressure due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“For consumers spending more than £45 there are many ways to choose to pay, for example through chip and PIN, cash and alternatives such as mobile payments which do not have an upper limit when authenticated through biometric technologies.”
Barclaycard, which handles close to half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, says it will prioritise retailers in key sectors including grocery and supermarket stores, bakeries, pharmacies and petrol service stations.
“Barclaycard will be supporting the deployment of the higher contactless limit to other merchants in due course,” it says.
The UK is the latest in a series of countries to increase the contactless transaction limit in a bid to combat the spread of Covid-19 by reducing the volume of transactions that require the entry of a PIN.
Over the past few days:
- Ireland has increased the contactless transaction limit from €30 (US$32.17) to €50 (US$53.54).
- Poland has doubled the country’s contactless card transaction limit from 50 zloty (US$11.85) to 100 zloty ($23.71).
- Norway has increased the limit for BankAxept domestic contactless debit card payments from 400 kr (US$34.28) to 500 kr (US$42.84).
- Turkey has more than doubled the limit from 120 Turkish lira (US$18.29) to 250 lira ($38.11).
- Egypt has doubled the contactless limit from E£300 (US$19.05) to E£600 (US$38.10).
- Greece and Malta have also agreed to increase the contactless limit.