£100 spending limit for contactless payments comes into force

The national roll-out of the new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments will begin across the UK today.

The decision to raise the contactless limit from £45 to £100 was made in August by the Treasury and the FCA following a public consultation and in discussion with both the retail and banking sectors. It follows on from the increase to the limit from £30 to £45 in April 2020.

Between January and July this year, UK Finance figures show that 60% of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK were made using contactless payments. This accounted for 6.6 billion transactions with a value of £81.4bn.

Given the number of terminals that need to be updated, the £100 limit may not be available across all retailers immediately.

Commenting on the change, interactive investor personal finance campaigner, Myron Jobson, described contactless payments as “easy and frictionless”.

However, Jobson also warned: “The worry is the new bumper limit could encourage reckless spending, resulting in some customers spending beyond their means which could lead to debt issues at a time when many are feeling the financial pinch owning to the pandemic and rising cost of living.

“The new limit could particularly prove to be a slippery slope for some holders of contactless enabled credit cards that typically allow users to slip into overdraft without having their payment rejected.

“This is exacerbated by the fact that many have gotten into the habit of not taking a receipt – especially after using self-service checkouts – so it is harder to keep track of spending.”

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