The contactless payment cap is rising today (October 15), allowing shoppers to spend up to £100 in stores without entering their pins.
The last time the contactless limit was lifted was March 2020, when the cap went from £30 to £45 to reduce physical contact in stores during the nationwide lockdown.
Today, that number more than doubled as the limit was raised to £100.
The decision to increase the cap was made by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The changes were originally announced back in March, with the goal to make shopping more convenient for consumers and retailers.
“During the pandemic more people have been using contactless payments. We are changing our rules to help the industry continue to respond to the changing ways in which people prefer to pay”, said the FCA’s Executive Director of Consumers and Competition, Sheldon Mills.
“Increasing the regulatory limits allows industry to raise the contactless limit in the future to meet the evolving expectations of customers and merchants for fast but secure ways to pay”.
While the £100 limit will be available in some stores from today, it will take time for many terminals across the UK to be updated to accept the higher cap and some retailers could choose to reject it altogether.
This means that, depending on where you live, you may need to wait a little longer to buy your weekly shop with a tap.
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Naturally, the update has raised concerns about theft. After all, if someone picks up your card on the street, what’s going to stop them from heading to the nearest shop and spending £100 before you notice it’s gone?
According to a report by the BBC, there was no rise in crime after the contactless limit increased in 2020 and no material increase in other countries that have raised the limit to £100 or above, including Australia, Singapore and Canada.
If you still have concerns about your card being stolen and used without your knowledge, a number of banks do allow customers to set their own contactless limits or switch the function off entirely so you don’t need to accept the £100 limit.
The update will begin rolling out in stores across the UK from October 15th.