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West Berkshire consumers: Contactless payment limit rises to £100 from Friday in national rollout – is it a cause for concern?

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The limit on contactless payments will more than double this Friday, rising to £100.

The change has raised concerns about fraud, with around 135 million contactless cards in circulation and the contactless option already accounting for 9.6 billion payments a year.

Some experts worry that if you lose your card or have it stolen then the finder can take out more of your money without any difficulty. Secondly, there are fears that some people will lose track of their spending and may end up in debt.

Contactless payment
Contactless payment

Some banks are counteracting this problem by allowing their customers to opt-out – from Friday, customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland will be able to set their own limit to between £30 and £95 using their mobile app.

The limit was first set at £10 in 2007, but has steadily risen. The £30 limit rose to £45 in April 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

It proved to be popular with consumers and the number of contactless payments in the UK increased by 12 per cent in 2020.

In order to help the economy recover post-pandemic and to reflect people’s preferred method of spending the Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced in March this year that the limit would be increased to £100.

Although the national rollout starts this Friday, it may be some time before customers can make use of the facility in all outlets as retailers will have to update their terminals.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has advised caution, with a post on its website stating: “Customers should take extra care when making contactless payments from October 2021 as different businesses may have different limits in place, or at a different stage in their roll-out.

"Please ensure that your transaction has completed successfully before leaving the check-out."

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