1st September 2015
The upper limit for paying with contactless cards is today rising from £20 to £30, the UK Cards Association has announced.
Contactless spending has risen from £287 million per month in January 2015 to £567 million in June 2015, data from the trade body shows.
In total, £2.5 billion was spent on contactless cards and devices in the first half of 2015, compared to £2.32 billion for the whole of 2014.
The new £30 payment limit is being introduced in recognition of the popularity of contactless spending and as the number of contactless cards in circulation rises.
More was spent using contactless cards between January and June of this year than in the whole of 2014.
It means consumers will begin to see an increasing availability of shops where they can make contactlesspayments up to a limit of £30 from today.
Graham Peacop, chief executive of The UK Cards Association, says: “Contactless payments are fast, easy and secure. With more contactless cards in wallets than ever before and a growing number of retailers accepting contactless payments, we have seen a huge rise in the number of payments being made.
“The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way.”
The trade body says that paying with contactless cards is safe, using the same robust industry-standard secure encryption technology as Chip and PIN. From time to time consumers will be asked to enter their PIN to verify they are the genuine card holder.
The Association says that fraud on contactless cards is extremely low, at less than one penny for every hundred pounds spent.
The average supermarket spend of £25 now falls below the contactless limit, while the average card spend in pubs, cinemas, dry cleaners, pet shops and gift shops falls under the new £30 limit.
There are more than 69 million contactless payment cards in circulation. More than 9.3 million contactless payment cards were issued to consumers between January and June 2015.
The protection customers have when making a contactless transaction is no different from any other cardtransaction. Victims of fraud will get their money back.
Kevin Jenkins, managing director for UK & Ireland at Visa Europe, says: “Contactless is becoming the ‘new normal’ as everyday Britons embrace the speed, convenience and safety of touch-to-pay technology.
“We’ve seen unprecedented growth in this area, with the number of Visa contactless transactions more than trebling in the past year in the UK.
“Today’s threshold increase to £30 gives consumers all the benefits of contactless across a broader range of their daily activities, and we expect to see this momentum continue to build as more people adopt mobile and wearable payment technology.”