Contactless payment limit to increase from April 1st to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

March 26, 2020

Making a contactless payment is incredibly easy and convenient. Yet, for a long time, the £30 limit has been a roadblock for contactless payments. From April 1st, changes to limits could make everyday shopping much easier.

What is the history of contactless payment limits?

When contactless payments first launched, this limit was only £10. It meant that the contactless card machine was only useful for small purchases.

In 2015, the limit was raised to the current £30 maximum. It was a big improvement, causing a boom in contactless payments, but still wasn’t quite enough. Buyers spending less than £30 could tap their card to make a payment. As soon as they reached the £30 limit, they’d have to enter their PIN.

For most people, £30 doesn’t cover the weekly ‘big shop’. It’s also not enough to fill the tank of a small family car. Whilst people could use the contactless card terminal for many of their everyday purchases, some of their most common outgoings weren’t within the contactless limits.

What’s changing for contactless payment?

From 1st April 2020, the contactless limit is rising. From that date, you can use a contactless card terminal for transactions up to £45. This should cover many weekly grocery shops, many fuel payments, and so many other spending activities. Though the limit is only being raised by £15, the impact of this change could be enormous.

Why the change?

The contactless limit is being increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless payments are more hygienic and can reduce the spread of the virus. The change to the limit enables more people to use contactless cards in shops. Improvements in technology make the limit change possible. As contactless payments grow ever more secure, it’s easier for buyers to trust this form of spending whilst avoiding risks of fraud or theft.

What should retailers do?

Retailers should be aware of the change to the contactless limit. They should encourage their customers to use contactless payments for all purchases under £45. Contactless payments will increase, and customers, especially at the moment, will expect this convenience to ensure less contact during their transactions.