As of October 15, the contactless spending limit in the UK was raised from £45 to £100, but many customers have fresh concerns over the technology’s security. Many are skeptical of the new limit because if a card is stolen, fraudsters are able to spend more at a time without further security checks or authorisation.
However, a spokesman for the Financial Conduct Authority tried to reassure cardholders by saying that the increased limit ‘helps respond to changes in the way people prefer to pay’.
“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.”
Several UK banks have attempted to address these concerns by allowing customers to adjust the contactless spending limit on their cards. Here are what the main banks are doing to tackle the issue:
Nationwide Building Society: Customers are able to disable contactless functions on their card as well as request a non-contactless card if they wish to do so. Nationwide have also said they are planning a feature which will enable customers to set their own contactless limit, but it is not ready quite yet.
Barclays: Customers cannot set their own contactless spending limits. However, they are able to set general spending limits over both Chip-and-Pin and contactless transactions if they wish. They can set this within the Barclays banking app.
NatWest: Customers cannot set their own spending limits for contactless transactions but they are able to switch the function off altogether if they wish.
HSBC UK: The contactless spending limit cannot be adjusted, but non-contactless cards are available for customers if they wish to use one.
Starling Bank: Customers can set their own contactless limits, in increments of £10, starting from £0 to £100. They can also entirely disable the contactless function if they wish, all through the Starling app.
Lloyds Banking Group: Customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and the Bank of Scotland are able to set their own contactless spending limits. You can set the limit anywhere between £30 and £95, in increments of £5. The contactless functionality can also be turned off entirely through the app.