Contactless card spending limits will be raised to £45 today in widespread measures being but in place across the UK to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
UK Finance, a financial trade organisation, announced last week that it had been in talks with retailers and had made the decision to accelerate plans to raise the contactless spending limit from £30.
While plans were already in place prior to the coronavirus crisis, UK Finance alongside payment giants Barclaycard and Mastercard decided to bring the roll out forward to today in order to limit the use of physical cash and cash machines while shopping, which could inadvertently spread the virus.
Although the limit has officially been raised in stores which remain open from today, it will reportedly take time for the software on hundreds of thousands of card terminals to be updated.
“Some shops will take longer to make the necessary changes, given the strain they’re under,” British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) head of payments policy Andrew Cregan.
Morrisons’ chief executive David Potts said it would be rolling out the new limit from April 3 to “help support colleagues and customers during the coronavirus outbreak and help keep them safe.
“It has already introduced protective screens around its checkouts, has signage in store to support social distancing and is issuing hand sanitiser to checkout operators at all stores,” he added.
“We want to thank all our customers for using less cash as it is another step in helping to keep our customers and colleagues safe. We’re pleased to be able to help them further by increasing the limit on contactless cards.”
Contactless spending is already rising dramatically in the UK, jumping 16 per cent last year to £80.5 billion according to UK Finance.