UK to raise contactless payment limit to £100

The UK is increasing the the limit for contactless card payments to £100, marking the second time the cap has gone up in the space of a year. According to the Evening Standard, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will point to the rise in “pinging” payments during the pandemic as the rationale behind the change in his budget today.

It seems that by raising the limit to more than double the previous amount, the government is hoping consumers will spend even more on retail and leisure as businesses re-open over the coming weeks as part of the UK’s phased end to lockdown.

Overall, this is the third time the contactless payment limit has been upped, following an increase from £20 to £30 back in 2015, and then to £45 last March amid hygiene fears at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, the rise brings with it security concerns as a lost or stolen card could then be used by thieves to buy more stuff. It will be interesting to see whether that prompts people to turn to mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, which require an extra layer of biometric identification to enable payments, and forego plastic altogether.