Good news: UK contactless payment limit increased to £45 amid coronavirus crisis

Apr 3, 2020

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In an attempt to flatten the curve and the spread of coronavirus, our supermarkets, pharmacies and other shops selling “essential items” remain the only stores open. And the U.K.’s major trade association the British Retail Consortium is doing its part, too. The organisation has fast-tracked an increase of the spending-limit on in-store contactless card payments, reports the Independent.

Related reading: Complete guide to travelling during the deadly coronavirus outbreak

As of 1 April, the limit for contactless in-store purchases was increased from £30 to £45. In theory, the move should reduce the number of customers coming in contact with the chip and pin terminal, as well as speeding up the check-out process, helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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

“The last contactless limit increase to £30 took two years to implement but, given the extraordinary circumstances we face today, this new £45 limit will be rolled out from next week,” said Andrew Cregan, Head of Payments Policy at the British Retail Consortium.

While the new policy is already in effect, some shops will take longer to adopt the change. A spokesperson from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said 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.

Featured image by Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images.

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