Contactless card limit rises to £45 for safer transactions

In response to extensive British Retail Consortium (BRC) pressure and widespread consumer demand, the contactless limit for in-store card transactions will increase from £30 to £45.

This is being introduced as a measure in response to the coronavirus epidemic, to reduce the need for physical contact with PIN-Entry Devices (PEDs) at points of sale.

The new contactless limit will be operational at some stores across the UK from April 1st but may take some time before it can be applied everywhere. For example, it may take longer to rollout at retailers who are currently operating at peak capacity.

BRC Head of Payments Policy, Andrew Cregan, said, “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.

'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.”

Barclaycard, which provides the technology to power more than 150,000 terminals across the UK retail sector, says the deployment will be prioritised for retailers in key sectors, including grocery and supermarket stores, bakeries, pharmacies and petrol service stations.

Rob Cameron, chief executive of Barclaycard Payments, said, “It’s more important than ever for merchants and their customers to be mindful of their collective health and safety. We are proud to be taking a leadership position in the UK by commencing the deployment of a higher contactless threshold.

'By supporting the ability of customers to spend up to £45 via contactless, we are playing a part in helping UK consumers to pay safely and securely in these challenging times.”