New £100 Contactless Limit Comes Into Effect

But customers are concerned about fraudulent payments...

October 18, 2021
New £100 Contactless Limit Comes Into Effect
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A new spending limit for contactless card payments has come into effect, allowing people to pay up to £100 without having to enter their PIN.

The new limit was announced earlier this year and came into force on Friday 15th October.

However, retailers need to update their terminals to allow for the new limit, and so many retailers may not be offering the £100 option yet. It’s expected to take a few weeks before the rollout is complete.

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Fraud Concerns

While the new spending limit is viewed by the government as a way of boosting spending, as retail becomes even easier, that doesn’t mean it’s a move that’s been universally welcomed.

A lot of customers are concerned about fraud, and how anyone could steal a debit card, or pick up a lost one, and spend large sums quickly without needing access to the PIN.

Only one major bank has announced the option to change the contactless spending limit so far. Lloyds Banking Group – consisting of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland – is allowing customers to use their banking app to change the limit in £5 increments between £30 and £100, or switch off the contactless function altogether.

Other banks don’t currently allow the limit to be changed but they do offer some other ways that customers can prevent contactless fraud:

  • NatWest allows customers to turn off contactless payments altogether from the mobile app
  • HSBC UK gives customers the option of ordering a bank card without contactless technology, if they want to avoid it altogether
  • Barclays customers can’t set a specific contactless limit but they can set a limit on all payments, which includes any contactless transactions. These controls can be updated at any time in the app
  • Santander doesn’t have any options available yet but have said they’re working on a feature that will allow customers to lower the contactless limit
  • Nationwide customers can either turn off contactless payments in the app, or request a non-contactless card. The bank has also announced that in the future customers will be able to set a contactless limit
  • Starling customers can turn off contactless and will soon be able to set a limit, with a £10 increment from £0 to £100.

Virgin Money and Metro Bank don’t currently offer any options for removing contactless payments and haven’t announced any plans to introduce the feature.

History of Limit Increases

Since contactless payments were first introduced in 2007, the limit has been increased five times.

It started at £10 and was gradually increased until it settled at £30 for a few years. It was then raised to £45 last April, as shops started to limit their cash dealings and people looked for the safest way to make payments without having to use touchpads which could transfer the virus.

According to UK Finance, 60% of all debit card payments made in the UK between January and July this year were contactless – around 6.6 billion payments, with a total value of over £81 billion.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis
Ian is an experienced writer with 15 years’ experience working in journalism and marketing. He’s worked in-house in financial institutions as well as writing freelance pieces for a variety of banking and financial trading websites.

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About Bank of Scotland Bank of Scotland is a commercial clearing bank based in Edinburgh. Not to be confused with Royal Bank of Scotland, it was established in 1695 and is one of the...
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About Barclays Bank Barclays is a British multinational investment bank and financial services company. It was founded in 1690 and is headquartered in London. Barclays originated...
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About HSBC Bank HSBC is a British banking and financial services company. It is the largest bank in Europe and the seventh largest bank in the world. The bank originated in Hong Kong...
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About Lloyds Bank Lloyds Bank is a British retail and commercial bank. One of the ‘Big Four’ clearing banks, it was founded in Birmingham in 1765. It is the largest retail bank in...
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