Coronavirus: Contactless Payment Threshold To Rise From £30 to £45

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The £30 limit for paying for groceries with tap-and-go contactless payment will be raised in the UK to £45 from 1 April in some stores

The limit for tap-and-go contactless payments in the United Kingdom will be raised from £30 to £45 from 1 April.

The move is part of the measures being implemented in the retail sector to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. The idea is that will reduce cash transactions, as well as the need for physical contact with devices requiring a PIN, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

It comes after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday 22 March, implemented an unprecedented three week lock-down in the UK, with people only allowed to leave their house for ‘essential shopping’ such as food and medicine, or to check on the elderly.

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Tap-and-go

That means that all non-essential shops including clothing stores, libraries and electronic shops have been ordered to close.

The three week UK lock-down for example would theoretically end around 12/13 April, depending on the state of the pandemic.

Of course using cash and touching keypads to enter a PIN code when paying for shopping could potentially spread the virus to both check-out staff and customers.

Contactless payments are a safer alternative, and the raising of the contactless payment limit comes after “BRC pressure and widespread consumer demand.”

Indeed, the BRC made very clear in its announcement that this is being introduced as a measure in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

The new contactless limit will be operational at some stores across the UK from 1 April.

However the BRC warned it may take some time before it can be applied everywhere. For example, it may take longer to rollout at retailers who are currently operating at peak capacity.

Rushed implementation

“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,” explained BRC head of payments policy, Andrew Cregan.

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

Back in 2016, MasterCard revealed that the UK was leading the way when it came to adopting contactless payments.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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