Banks in the UK have announced that the contactless card spending limit will increase from £45 to £100 in a single transaction from the 15th of October. The increased limit was announced in the Spring Budget earlier this year by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
The contactless card limit was raised from £30 to £45 at the start of the virus outbreak, in a bid to encourage consumers to use the technology. Contactless payments have further been encouraged during the pandemic to curb the risk of infection when handling cash or using Chip and Pin payment methods by reducing direct contact with others.
When contactless payments were introduced back in 2007, the transaction limit was a mere £10, but was then raised to £20 in 2012 and again to £30 in 2015.
Contactless payments have surged over the course of the pandemic, with approximately 70% of all debit card transactions using the wireless technology.
But some argue that the increased contactless limits will play into fraudsters’ hands. People are worried that if their card was stolen, the perpetrator will be able to spend £100 per transaction without any security checks or authorisation, since a pin is not required to use contactless.
Banks have attempted to mitigate this risk by introducing online or internet banking apps, allowing customers to temporarily freeze or terminate their cards if they believe to have lost them, or they have been stolen. Popular banks such as Lloyds, Natwest and Monzo offer such security measures.
Further, those who use contactless via Apple Pay for example, will need to authorise their payments using biometric security such as Face ID, Touch ID or their phone passcodes. It is convenient if you are a person who tends to forget their card pin, and Face ID and Touch ID is far more secure than any sort of pin. This makes Apple’s payment systems much more secure than contactless with a physical card as the purchaser must unlock their phone before authorising a payment.
The increased contactless limit is a welcome step to make payments faster and more secure, and is a convenient method for such payments that are less than £100 in value.