Contactless spending limits will rise from £45 to £100 in a bid to boost spending on the UK’s struggling high streets.
The contactless spending limit has now more than tripled since the start of the pandemic, in what Sunak said was a triumph of Brexit as the UK was no longer bound by EU spending limitations.
Last spring the limit was increased from £30 to £45 as shoppers began to favour contactless payments to avoid any possible contaminations during the early days of the pandemic.
Since then, the percentage of payments made contactlessly has skyrocketed, with nearly 90 per cent of all instore transactions made via contactless payment in 2020 according to Barclaycard.
While the contactless limit will be legally in place from today, card and payment providers will take time to implement the changes, meaning shoppers could not have access to the higher limits until later this year.
“As we begin to open the UK economy and people return to the high street, the contactless limit increase will make it easier than ever before for people to pay for their shopping, providing a welcome boost to retail that will protect jobs and drive growth,” Sunak said.
Despite its potential to boost retail sales, some have warned that it opens up new opportunities for card fraudsters and puts the millions of UK citizens who still relay on cash at greater risk.
Fujitsu’s Ian Bradbury said: “The move to contactless shouldn’t come at the expense of wider society. There is a lot to admire about the prospect of a 100 per cent cashless society including increased security, accessibility and convenience day-to-day.
“However, the reality is that we have a long way to go and there are still large proportions of society who rely on cash; recent research found that nearly 2.2 million people in the UK use cash for all of their daily transactions.”