The cap on contactless spending will be raised to £45 in April to reduce the need for physical contact in stores, says the British Retail Consortium.
The BRC announced the change today, citing pressure by the Consortium and widespread consumer demand as the driving force behind the sudden increase.
The idea is to cut down on the need for physical contact at checkout by promoting contactless transactions.
The new limit has quickly been adopted in response to the growing coronavirus epidemic. Many stores have already paused accepting cash in hopes to improve hygiene, so it makes sense that these retailers also wouldn’t want thousands of customers pressing their dirty fingers on the keypads every day.
While there is no set £30 limit on what you can spend using contactless banking apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, some retailers do choose to set limits on what can be spent without entering a PIN. Whether or not the new £45 limit will apply to contactless app users may ultimately depend on the retailer.
“The last contactless limit increase to £30 took two years to implement but, given the extraordinary circumstances we face today, this new £45 limit will be rolled-out from next week,” said BRC head of payments policy Andrew Cregan.
“Some shops will take longer to make the necessary changes, given the strain they’re under. In the meantime, most customers can continue to make contactless payments for higher amounts using their smart phone.”
Related: How to use Google Pay
The new £45 contactless limit will begin rolling out across the UK from April 1. However, don’t expect every shop to be ready right away – retailers operating at peak capacity, such as supermarkets, are expected to take longer to adopt the new limit.