Contactless limit increased in light of “extraordinary circumstances”

24 March 2020, 15:40 PM
  • The limit will be upped to £45 from £30 in response to the coronavirus outbreak
Contactless limit increased in light of “extraordinary circumstances”

The limit for in-store contactless card transactions is being increased as a response to the coronavirus epidemic. In order to the physical contact required for PIN entry the limit is set to increase from £30 to £45. The changes were rolled out across a number of stores from the 1st April but the BRC says that it may take longer for those retailers currently operating at full capacity.

BRC head of payments policy, Andrew Cregan, said, “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. Some shops will take longer to make the necessary changes, given the strain they’re under. In the meantime, most customers can continue to make contactless payments for higher amounts using their smart phone.”

Will Broome, CEO of retail tech pioneer Ubamarket, added, “This is a key (and very welcome) development in the spirit of convenient and, of course, hygienic shopping. Whereas the £30 contactless limit worked well for small top-up baskets, it didn’t encapsulate the increasingly important medium sized basket in convenience stores, and the lower limit would certainly have led to a wider hazard for shoppers with frequent keypad contact. In the same way that shoppers are increasingly reluctant to put products on conveyor belts, have them handled and packed by cashiers or even touch self-checkout units, shoppers are now well aware that payment keypads (or any surface you touch) are not ideal. We predict this will be a long lasting notion and so apps running on personal devices, along with one tap payment and age verification/facial recognition, are certainly the way forward.”

“E-commerce has been around for a long time and it’s certainly here to stay, but in grocery, it’s still only a tiny percentage of all shopping transactions. Putting it simply, people prefer to shop for groceries in store. However, there are frustrations with the in-store experience as it currently stands (in fact 66% of us are frustrated by one aspect or another) so a slick, frictionless and more personalised and hygienic experience is required.”

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