Contactless card payment limit set to rise

Trade body says new spending limit will be £30, with average supermarket spend worth £25

Shoppers making contactless payments will be able to buy goods worth up to £30 with a touch of their card when the limit increases in September, it has been confirmed.

The UK Cards Association said raising the £20 limit would enable more consumers to simply tap and go.

The average debit and credit card transaction in a supermarket is worth just over £25, the association said.

No date for increasing the limit has yet been set.

Contactless payment has grown rapidly as more people are reaching for their plastic when traditionally they might have used cash.

Spending on contactless cards more than trebled in 2014 as more consumers and retailers embraced the technology, although the number of transactions suggested there is still a long way to go before this way of paying replaces cash or chip-and-pin.

A record £2.32bn was spent last year by consumers simply touching their cards on a terminal in stores and at train stations, the association said – a 255% increase on the previous year’s figure of £653m and more than double the spending of the previous six years combined. However, the figure accounted for just 2.7% of all card transactions.

Consumers across the UK made around 10 contactless payments every second, and the average transaction in December was worth £8.26.

There are 58m contactless credit and debt cards in circulation in the UK – 52% more than there were in December 2013. Many high street retailers now have contactless terminals in place, and Transport for London accepts contactless payments on buses and at stations.

The Payments Council, which oversees payments in the UK, predicted that 2015 would be the first year in which the number of cash payments fell below the number of non-cash transactions.

The growing list of retail outlets that accept contactless payments includes Aldi, Barnardo’s, Boots, Superdrug, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Ikea, JD Wetherspoon, Lidl, London Buses, London Tubes, M6 Toll, Marks and Spencer, McDonald’s, the Post Office, Stagecoach, Waitrose and WH Smith.

Nearly one in three (30.1%) card transactions in London last year were contactless, according to separate data from Barclaycard.


Rebecca Smithers

The GuardianTramp

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