Tuesday 31 March 2020 10:57 PM UTC
LONDON April 1: Shoppers will be able to pay £45 for transaction without entering a PIN number. The rise comes as the coronavirus pandemic has seen some shops encourage customers to ditch cash.
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.
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’s 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% 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.
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