British consumers will be able to make contactless payments of up to £100 in shops, cafes and bars from Friday 15 October, a move aimed at simplifying transactions, but has raised concerns in some quarters.
The decision to raise the upper limit from £45 to £100, breaking the EU-wide limits, was made in the wake of public consultation and discussion with banks and the retail sector by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority.
This limit was last raised from £30 to £45 in April 2020.
“Contactless payments have proven to be very popular with consumers and more and more transactions are being conducted using contactless technology,” said David Postings, CEO of UK Finance, a banking industry body.
“An increase in the £100 limit will allow people to pay for higher value transactions like their weekly shop or filling their car with fuel,” he said somewhat optimistically at the latter point.
“The payments industry has worked hard to set up the infrastructure to enable retailers to update their payment systems to begin providing this new high limit to their customers.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is hoping to encourage in-store spending as Britain continues its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, equally enthusiastic.
“Raising the contactless limit will make it easier than ever to pay safely and securely – whether at local stores, or at your favorite pubs and restaurants,” he said.
“As people return to the High Street, millions of payments will become easier, providing a welcome boost for retailers and shoppers.”
Shoppers are warned that, while all banks are ready to process payments of up to £100 starting Friday, not all businesses will be able to offer the service immediately as terminals need to be individually reprogrammed , a rollout that could take several weeks or even longer. Months ago the new limit has been recognized as standard.
Of course, any amount can be paid using the extremely minor inconvenience of chip-and-PIN and via Apple Pay and Google Pay, neither of which impose an upper limit.
The first contactless credit and debit card was introduced in the UK in September 2007, at which time payments over £10 could not be made, and became an instant hit.
In 2021, an estimated 135m contactless cards are in circulation in the UK and around 9.6bn transactions are made on them every year, with one in four payments made in 2020 being transacted through technology, the use of centuries. After the phased phase out of physical currency continues. .
While other countries, including Canada, Australia and Singapore, have successfully raised their contactless limits above a similar amount, some financial advisors fear doing so encourages thieves and allows people to track and track their account balances. Being tempted to lose, they get into debt.
Laura Suter, head of personal finance at investment firm AJ Bell, recently outlined these objections, saying: “First of all, it’s a thief’s dream, because if your card is lost or stolen they will each You can take more money in the transaction.
“Second, there is a risk for those who are in debt and moving into debt. The simpler the card transactions are, the less actively the consumer thinks about how much they are spending, which means that It is easier to collect large bills on credit cards.”
Although card fraud is a major concern for many, UK Finance figures show that Contactless cards and phones were stolen for just £7.6m In the first six months of 2021, which means that, during that time £66.5bn was spent through the same technology, only 1p out of every £100 could be attributed to fraud, indicating that Scammers are looking for targets elsewhere.
Confirming that view were data from the same body on bank transfer scams, which found £355.3m was stolen through such schemes during the first six months of the year and again contactless fraud dwarfed the total.
It’s also reassuring to note that banks require contactless users to enter their PINs periodically after a certain number of purchases, which means that a thief with a stolen card may only need one or two times. Might be able to use it without using it. number before becoming inaccessible.
Ahead of Friday’s rollout, Andrew Cregan, finance policy advisor at the British Retail Consortium, advised to consumers “Be extra careful when making contactless payments… as different businesses may have different limits, or at a different stage in their roll-out”.
He also suggested that customers who don’t trust themselves not to overspend or otherwise feel uneasy about the new limit “may be able to set a lower contactless limit for your card, or your bank.” You can completely disable contactless transactions by contacting
Currently, Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers can choose their debit card limit between £30 and £95 in increments of £5 via those banks’ mobile apps, with similar options for credit cards due soon .
Philip Robinson, Director of Personal Current Accounts, Payments and Fraud and Financial Crimes, said: “We have listened to customer feedback to introduce this option, which allows them to make the most of the £100 limit in a way that works for them. will give.” Lloyds.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /