Contactless limit could more than double to £100

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Contactless payment limits could soon jump to £100 as the coronavirus pandemic forces a dramatic change of “behaviour in how people pay”.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced yesterday that as part of its upcoming consultation it will be “seeking views” on more than doubling the current contactless payment limit.

Prior to the pandemic single contactless payments were capped at £30, but this was increased to £45 on April 1 to enable more people to pay for shopping without having to use cash or touch pin pads, potentially helping limit the spread of coronavirus.

READ MORE: 90% of card payments were contactless in 2020

“It is important that payments regulation keeps pace with consumer and merchant expectations,” the FCA said.

“Recognising changing behaviour in how people pay, as part of a wider consultation, we will shortly be seeking views on amending our rules to allow for a possible increase in the contactless limit to £100.”

The previous rise in spending limits saw 7 million customers pay for items over £30 using their contactless cards within the first month, while average transaction value jumped from £9.28 to just under £14.

Throughout the rest of 2020, contactless payments skyrocketed.

Barclaycard’s latest data has revealed that 88.6 per cent of all “eligible card transactions”, defined as face-to-face instore transactions made with a card up to the value of the contactless limit, were made contactlessly last year.

However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned that shop keepers may be less enthusiastic about the potential rise.

The BRC’s payments policy advisor Andrew Cregan said: “We have concerns about raising the contactless limit, with losses from incomplete contactless payments at self-checkouts currently costing retailers millions in lost revenue.

“Card companies should take measures to reduce incomplete payments and we urge customers to make sure their own transactions always go through. However, the overwhelming priority at the moment must be for the government to address the rocketing card fees.”

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