MSE News

Contactless card payment limit could rise to £100 under new plans

Shoppers could see the contactless card payment limit rise from £45 to £100 under new rules being considered by the financial watchdog.

The limit for contactless card payments was increased from £30 to £45 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, and since then people have increasingly made use of contactless payments, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said. It will now consult on increasing this limit further, although it's not clear yet if this will definitely happen, and if it does, when it will come into force. 

The current £45 contactless card limit is three times the amount it was in 2010. In 2007, contactless cards initially had a limit of £10, which you could spend without entering a PIN. This rose to £15 in 2010, to £20 in 2012 and to £30 in 2015. 

In comparison, similar contactless payment technology - such as that offered by Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay - doesn't have a cap on the cost of transactions, although some retailers may choose to set a lower £45 transaction limit to coincide with the cap used for contactless cards.  

Martin Lewis' contactless poll initially shows people support the increase

A poll run on founder Martin Lewis' Twitter account today shows that most people are supportive of an increase to the contactless limit. 

The poll isn't scientific, but it gives a good indication of people's feelings towards the move. In the first two hours after being posted it's received over 20,000 votes and 56% support the proposed contactless increase - this is split between 38.3% of under fifties and 17.5% of over fifties, although this may of course change throughout the day.

To see the results so far, simply vote below by selecting the option you identify with. Voting ends at 10.30am tomorrow (28 January).

The FCA says it's seen 'changing behaviour'  in how people pay

Writing about the proposed contactless increase on its website, the FCA said: “It’s important that payments regulation keeps pace with consumer and merchant expectations.

“Recognising changing behaviour in how people pay, as part of a wider consultation, we will shortly be seeking views on amending our rules to allow for a possible increase in the contactless limit to £100.”

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