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UK Finance announces increase in spending limit for contactless cards

From next week the spending limit for contactless card payments will be increased from £30 to £45.

The national roll-out begins on Wednesday, April 1, UK Finance has announced.

It comes at a time when chain stores such as Central England Co-op are encouraging customers to pay for goods contactlessly.

UK Finance, the collective voice for the banking and finance industry (32376411)
UK Finance, the collective voice for the banking and finance industry (32376411)

The decision to raise the limit was taken following consultation between the retail sector and the finance and payments industry and follows similar increases in several other European countries over the past week.

The changes were already under consideration by the industry, but the process has been accelerated in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to support consumers who choose to pay using contactless at this time.

From April 1, consumers will begin to see an increasing number of retailers accepting contactless card payments up to the new £45 limit. Given the pace at which this change is being rolled out, the new limits will take some time to be introduced across all retailers.

For consumers spending more than £45 there are many ways to choose to pay, for example through chip and PIN, cash and alternatives such as mobile payments which do not have an upper limit when authenticated through biometric technologies.

Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, which is the collective voice for the banking and finance industry, said: “The payments industry has been working closely with retailers to be able to increase the contactless payment limit to help customers with their shopping at this critical time for the country.

“This will give more people the choice to opt for the speed and convenience of purchasing goods using their contactless card, helping to cut queues at the checkout.

“The industry continues to work closely with the government and regulators to support customers impacted by COVID-19 and ensure that they can pay in a way that suits them.”

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