New Zealand raises contactless limit by 150%

New Zealand is to progressively roll out a temporary increase in the country’s contactless transaction limit “over the coming days and weeks” — but customers of two banks will miss out “due to technology constraints” unless they order a new card or make use of mobile payments.

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The move will see the contactless transaction limit increasing from NZ$80 (US$48.77) to NZ$200 (US$121.92) “for as long as necessary in consideration of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“The temporary increase was introduced on 9 April and is expected to be rolled out across cardholders and retailers over the coming weeks,” Payments NZ says.

“It could take a few weeks for the rollout to be completed due to the number of cards, payment terminals and businesses involved.”

“Not all New Zealand banks are able to apply this limit increase on existing cards right away due to technology constraints. This includes ASB and TSB Bank.

“However, all new contactless cards issued by TSB and ASB from 9 April will have the new temporary NZ$200 PIN limit applied.”

“ASB introduced contactless cards early, and at the time, responded to concerns about their security by ensuring the cards were hard-coded to ask for a PIN for all transactions above NZ$80,” Simon Tong, ASB’s executive general manager for digital, data and brand explains.

“Since identifying the need to change card limits, we have been working hard to find a solution for our existing cards, but given the complexity this is likely to take several weeks.

“We appreciate some of our customers may want to take advantage of the NZ$200 contactless limit sooner, so they can request a new card from today which we will happily re-issue at no cost.”

“The limit of up to NZ$80 without a PIN relates to our cards only, and all our customers with mobile pay options such as Apple, Google, Garmin and FitBit Pay can use these immediately to make payments up to NZ$200 without a PIN,” Tong adds.

“Customers who set up a new mobile payment method on their device will receive a one-off NZ$20 (US$12.16) refund on any purchase made at supermarkets around the country, after using their mobile device to pay for the first time.”

Find full and up-to-date details of worldwide contactless limit increases in NFCW’s table of contactless transaction limit changes.