You Can Now Spend More Money Using Contactless Than Ever Before

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Limit on contactless spending to be raised to £30 from September

Tech-savvy shoppers will soon be able to spend more money using contactless debit and credit cards than ever before after the government raised the maximum spending limit.

From September, users with applicable contactless cards will be able to spend up to £30 without needing to enter a PIN number, the UK Cards Association (UKCA) has announced.

Currently, shoppers can only spend up to £20 using the technology, simply by tapping their phones onto a compatible reader at store checkouts.

credit card payment ©dean bertoncelj /shutterstock.comTap and go

The raise follows a major increase in the number of British shoppers using contactless cards, the UKCA revealed.

The body released figures that showed that transactions using contactless payments have more than tripled, from payments worth £653m in 2013, to £2.32bn last year.

“Contactless has now firmly stepped into the mainstream,” said Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association.

“With usage soaring every month last year, we’ve seen people flocking to contactless payments as they switch away from cash.”

Overall, customers used contactless cards on 319 million occasions in 2014, with London’s TfL transport network particularly helping spur on usage.

The UKCA said that 41 million transactions has been made on the capital’s network since September, and that London’s commuters were responsible for around 1 in 10 of all UK contactless payments in December.

Tube TfL contactless Barclaycard (1)Popular

The announcement follows similar findings published by Barclaycard last week which show that the UK is increasingly embracing contactless payments.

The bank, which has been a keen proponent of contactless payment technology through its bPay wearable, found that spending via contactless leapt 115 per cent by value and 108 per cent by volume in 2014, with a quarter of all new cards now featuring the technology.

Overall, 45 million contactless cards now in circulation in the UK, with London leading the way by accounting for three in every 10 eligible contactless transactions (30.1 percent) last year, followed by Leeds (27.3 percent) and Cambridge (14.9 percent).

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