UK contactless spending limit raised to £100

·2-min read
Photo taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh
It will take time for the roll-out to be adopted nationally, as payment terminals will need to be updated to accept the new limit. Photo: Getty

The UK's national roll-out of a £100 contactless spending limit sets in today, raising the limit you can spend with one tap from £45. 

The change comes following a decision by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority, which carried out a public consultation on the move, in conjunction with the retail and banking sectors. 

It is a further increase from April 2020, when the limit was raised from £30 to £45 in response to changing consumer behaviours and a call for greater adoption of contactless technology due to COVID-19, despite it being a largely airborne virus. 

Payment terminals will need to be updated to accept the new limit, so the roll-out will be delayed for a short while.

The current advice is to either ask in store or follow the prompts on the card payment machine when paying.

For payments of more than £100, customers will have to use chip and PIN, or payment technology such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, which have no upper limit when authenticated through biometric technologies such as fingerprint or facial recognition. 

Read more: One in four payments now contactless in UK as COVID speeds death of cash

Last year the number of contactless payments made in the UK increased by 12% to 9.6 billion.

This was in part because Britons avoided touching cash in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The UK Finance’s 2021 Payment Markets Report said contactless payments accounted for 27% of all payments and found there are now 135 million contactless cards in circulation – 88% of debit cards and 81% of credit cards now offer this service.

Accenture has predicted that 11.6 billion transactions, worth up to £155bn, will shift from cash to cards and digital payments by 2023.

However, concerns have been raised about the prospect of a cashless society, which would create huge problems for the millions of people who live in rural areas or are in a lot of debt.

Watch: Why can't governments just print more money?

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