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Contactless shopping limit set to rise to £45


By David Porter

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Shoppers will be able to make contactless card payments with a new higher limit of up to £45 per transaction from Wednesday.

The contactless card payment limit in shops is increasing by £15, from £30 previously, as part of measures to combat coronavirus.

It is three times the amount it stood at originally, with "tap and go" contactless cards initially having a limit of £10 in 2007.

This was increased to £15 in 2010, £20 in 2012 and to £30 in 2015.

Trade association UK Finance, which represents the finance and payments industry, said the decision to raise the limit was made following talks with the retail sector.

It follows similar increases recently made elsewhere in Europe.

An increased limit was already being considered but the process has been accelerated as part of the industry's response to Covid-19.

It will mean more payments can be made without the need to handle cash and it will also reduce the number of occasions when people need to input their Pin on a machine when making payments.

People will not be able to make contactless card payments of up to £45 in all the shops that remain open from Wednesday.

The software on card payment machines will be updated to accept the new £45 limit, but UK Finance said with hundreds of thousands of terminals in the UK, the updating process will happen gradually.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said while the new contactless limit will be operational at some stores across the UK from Wednesday, April 1, it may be some time before it can be applied more widely.

BRC head of payments policy Andrew Cregan said: "Some shops will take longer to make the necessary changes, given the strain they're under."

Some £80.5 billion was spent using contactless payments in 2019, UK Finance figures show, up by 16 per cent on the previous year.

Allowing people to tap and go on higher value card transactions may also spark concerns about fraud.

But according to UK Finance, contactless fraud equates to just 2.5p in every £100 spent using contactless technology.

It said contactless fraud on payment cards and devices represents just 3.3 per cent of overall card fraud losses.


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