Contactless payments have been on the rise for a number of years, but this has been greatly accelerated by the pandemic where it has become the norm with cash not being an option in many places all over the world in order to prevent transmission. Since contactless payments have become the norm, changes are now being made to the contactless limit to give consumers greater convenience.
Changes to the Limit
In the UK, the contactless limit has recently risen to £100. Originally, the contactless limit was just £10 when introduced in 2007 and over the years this has increased to £15 in 2010, £20 in 2012 and £30 in 2015. Once the pandemic started, this quickly increased to £45 as cash became obsolete. Contactless payments were supposed to be used for minor transactions at first, but as the world has evolved, the choice to expand was made in order to make shopping more simple and to try to revitalise the high street.
Around the world, other countries have also increased their contactless limit largely due to the pandemic. The UK has the highest contactless limit in Europe with Switzerland in second with 80 Swiss francs (£63). Poland has the lowest contactless limit in Europe at £18 while Spain, Germany and Portugal all have a limit of roughly £42.
Around the World
While the UK has the highest in Europe, it is Canada that has the highest contactless limit in the world at 250 CAD, which works out at around £150. The USA is in a close second with a limit of $200 (£146). Japan, China and Singapore have a limit above £105 while Australia and New Zealand both sit ahead of the UK at £107 and £102 respectively. The lowest around the world is Iran that has a contactless limit of just £4.
A Cashless Society
As we move towards a cashless society, it seems that these contactless limits will only increase in time particularly with the rising cost of living and inflation. Cards containing contactless function are now the norm and prepaid cards can also be a smart way for people to control and track their spending. While there are benefits to increasing the contactless limit, this can pose security risks and some question whether or not shoppers want an increased contactless limit.
It has been interesting to see the rise of contactless payments and how they started out as a way to quickly and easily pay for small items. The pandemic has accelerated the situation with cash no longer accepted in many places, which has also led to the rise in the contactless limit in the UK and around the world with the UK recently more than doubling the limit to £100 to make shopping more convenient and with hopes to boost the high street.