Contactless card limit rises to £100 today – but not all shops will allow it yet

The contactless card limit has just increased from £45 to £100 as of today (October 15).

Shoppers in the UK can now tap away using their cards for payments up to £100.

But despite the limit coming into power from today, not many retailers will be able to accept it just yet.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), it may take “days, weeks or even months” for retailers to make necessary changes.

And in some cases, Brits will be able to set their own limit through their bank.

The increase from Friday marks the fifth time the limit has been raised after it was initially set at £10 in 2007.

Then in April 2020, it was pushed up to £45 to encourage more Brits to use contactless payments during the pandemic.

It has gone from £45 to £100 as of Friday

Between January and July, 60% of all debit and credit card transactions across the UK were contactless, says UK Finance.

This accounted for 6.6 billion payments with a value of £81.4 billion.

UK Finance’s figures also show that in 2016 just 7% of all payments, including cash, were made using contactless cards.

Some banks will allow people to set their own contactless card limits at less than £100 or switch it off altogether.

Close up shot of a senior man making a contactless payment at a supermarket till.
Experts say there’s no reason to worry about fraud

David Postings, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The new £100 limit offers customers greater choice about how they pay for things like their weekly shop or a tank of fuel.

“Contactless payments have become increasingly popular, and the payments industry has worked hard to ensure retailers are able to offer customers the new higher limit.”

The decision to raise the limit was made by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

But the move has raised some concerns about the potential for fraud.

An FCA spokesman said: “Available fraud rate data suggests there to be no significant increase in contactless payment-related fraud since industry increased the limit to £45 in April 2020.

“What’s more, we have seen no material increase in fraudulent transactions in other countries where the contactless limit increased to the equivalent of £100 or above.

“Firms must ensure they work to reduce the risk of unauthorised transactions and fraud and need to have tools in place to monitor for fraudulent transactions. As the limit increases we will continue to keep a close eye on the data.”

UK Finance said people should always contact their bank immediately if their card is lost or stolen, or if they notice any strange transactions on their account.

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Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, said: “Although fraud on contactless cards is relatively low level, it can be distressing to those who experience it.

“You should treat your contactless card the same way as you’d treat cash in your pocket, so be careful when you use it and don’t give it to anyone else.”

Andrew Cregan, payments policy adviser at the British Retail Consortium, added: “While the UK contactless limit rises to £100 on Friday, it may take days, weeks, or even months for some retailers to make the necessary changes in their systems so that the new limit can take effect.

“Furthermore, some retailers may choose not to adopt the new contactless limit. As a result, customers will need to take care when making payments to check what the maximum contactless limit is for individual stores.”


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