UK to increase contactless spending limit to £100?

The UK could increase the limit for contactless transactions from £45 (US$61) to £100 (US$136), according to reports in the British press.

UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) logo

“The idea was raised to the Treasury by UK Finance, a City lobby group, who said the move would also help reduce contact during the coronavirus pandemic amid a new record high in infection,” the Daily Mirror says.

Although the UK Treasury is said to have responded “positively” to the proposal, any increase will need to be approved by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

“Updating the programming of card machines to accept the new limit can also be done remotely — but with hundreds of thousands of terminals in the UK, the updating process happens gradually, UK Finance said,” the Daily Mirror report continues.

“The proportion of debit card payments made using contactless reached its highest level in September, accounting for 64% of all debit card transactions and 46% of credit card transactions in the UK, according to UK Finance.

“But while there are fears a rise in plastic could lead to an increase in fraud, UK Finance said contactless fraud equates to just 2.5p in every £100 spent.

“It said contactless fraud on payment cards and devices represents just 3.3% of overall card fraud losses.”

The UK raised the contactless limit from £30 to £45 in March 2020. A YouGov survey in August 2020 found that 32% of UK consumers are in favour of increasing the contactless spending limit from £45.

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

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