Contactless Payments May Increase to £100

Published / Last Updated on 29/01/2021

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a consultation on increasing the limit on single payment contactless card transactions to £100.

During the coronavirus pandemic more people are making contactless payments on debit, credit cards and card details connected to smartphone wallets.

The limit was raised to £45.00 from £30.00 less than a year ago and may need increasing.

The FCA said: “They need to ensure that payment regulation keeps up to date with consumer and merchant expectations and recognising peoples changing behaviour when paying for products”.

The FCA will seek views on amending the rules to a possible increase to £100.00 for contactless payments.

Consumers using contactless technology has risen quickly over the years and during the Covid-19 outbreak, the FCA raised the amount to protect consumers and workers to £45.00 last April and they can set the amounts for these type of payments, but card issuers also have the power to set the actual limits.

Contactless payments have fallen slightly compared to pre-pandemic levels, due to the closure of public transport, pubs and restaurants as they accounted for 41% of card transactions latest figures show.

However, figures saw that a 16% increase in the total value of contactless payments in the UK in October compared to October 2020 and hit a record high in August 2021 which the Eat Out to Help Out scheme boosted. A spokesman for UK Finance believes the industry needs a more flexible approach and consider consumer demands, security, fraud prevention and convenience.

Concerns may be raised by shopkeepers that the proposed change could result in higher-value theft.

Payments policy advisor at British Retail Consortium Andrew Cregan said “There are concerns with raising the contactless limit with incomplete payments at self-checkouts which retailers lose millions, but car companies should also take measures to reduce these.  The priority now is the rocketing card fees that the government needs to address.


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