New £100 contactless payment limit
As of the 15 October, retailers can now begin to set a new contactless payment limit, which has now risen to £100. This has been raised from £45, however it is expected that it may be some time before all retail terminals are updated to accept this new limit. This means it could take months for some stores.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Increasing the contactless limit will make it easier than ever to pay safely and securely – whether that’s at the local shops, or your favourite pub and restaurant. As people get back to the high street, millions of payments will made be simpler, providing a welcome boost for retailers and shoppers.”
Why has the contactless limit increased been increased?
Contactless payments were first set to just £10 in 2007 and have slowly risen over the past 14 years.
- £10 – 2007
- £15 – 2010
- £20 – 2012
- £30 – 2015
- £45 – 2020
- £100 – 2021
The limit was previously increased to £45 in April 2020, early on in the coronavirus pandemic. Although the Bank of England’s research suggests the risk of catching Covid-19 from banknotes is low, some shops restricted people’s ability to pay with cash during the pandemic, which aimed to reduce touch points.
A report by UK Finance said that 98% of adults now hold at least one debit card, which compared to 63% in 2007 is a significant increase. The use of contactless Debit and credit card transactions across the UK continues to increase, with the use of cash reduced.
Following a public consultation, the decision was made by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which included discussions with the retail and banking sectors.
Are there any new security risks?
Some have expressed concerns that criminals may now be more able to steal money by either proximity or through the loss of the card. The FCA has confirmed that there has never been any verified report of a fraudster bump into someone in the street to steal card payments. Every card has an in-built security check, which means from time-to-time you are asked to enter your PIN to verify that you are the genuine cardholder.
If you lose your bank card, you must report it to your bank immediately to freeze the card. You are fully protected against fraud, so you will get all of your money back and will never be left out of pocket. Shoppers are advised to check their internet banking statements regularly, so if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, you can contact your bank immediately.