The contactless payment limit of £30 in the UK is to be raised in an effort to reduce the need for physical contact with Payment devices as well as to reduce the need for handling cash.
Banking Industry group UK Finance said that from April 1st, the new £45 limit would be applied at many stores though it would take longer to roll out across the retail network as a whole.
The decision to raise the limit was taken following consultation between the retail sector and the finance and payments industry and follows similar increases in several other European countries over the past week.
In the past few days, governments and the payments industry in Greece, Ireland, Malta, Poland and Turkey have worked together to raise the contactless payments limit
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.
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 & PIN, cash and alternatives such as mobile payments which do not have an upper limit when authenticated through biometric technologies.
Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, said:
“The payments industry has been working closely with retailers to be able to increase the contactless payment limit to help customers with their shopping at this critical time for the country.
“This will give more people the choice to opt for the speed and convenience of purchasing goods using their contactless card, helping to cut queues at the checkout.
“The industry continues to work closely with the government and regulators to support customers impacted by Covid-19 and ensure that they can pay in a way that suits them.”
Latest figures from UK Finance reveal that £80.5 million was spent on contactless payments in 2019, up 16% on the previous year. We will undoubtedly see a bigger uplift in figures for the coming year.
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