Good news: UK contactless payment limit to increase to £100

Mar 3, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.


As part of his budget unveiling on Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the government will increase the limit on contactless payments. The new limit will increase from £45 per transaction to £100 per transaction.

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While the new rule takes effect as of Wednesday, in all likelihood, you won’t be able to use the new limit straight away, as it will take time for banks to update their systems on the back end.

“As we begin to open the UK economy and people return to the high street, the contactless limit increase will make it easier than ever before for people to pay for their shopping, providing a welcome boost to retail that will protect jobs and drive growth,” Sunak said.

In April 2020, the limit for contactless in-store purchases was increased from £30 to £45.

Wednesday’s announcement was spurred by Brexit, Sunak said. The government claims that the increase was possible rather than at any other point in the pandemic because the EU limits contactless payment at £45.

(Photo by Nattakorn Maneerat/EyeEm via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nattakorn Maneerat/EyeEm via Getty Images)

According to Sky News, eight out of 10 adults in the U.K. said they used contactless payments in 2019.

A spokesperson from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said last year that during this time, “when possible, it’s a good idea to use contactless payments” instead of paying with cash.

While this is an increase for payments using a physical debit or credit card, it’s worth noting that shoppers can pay for significantly larger amounts by using various mobile contactless payment options like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Emily McNutt contributed to this story.

Featured image by Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images.

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