Jane Imrie

Contactless card spending limit to increase from £45 to £100 from October

UK banks have revealed that the spending limit on contactless card transactions is set to rise in the autumn.

From October 15, card users will be able to spend up to £100 on a single use of a contactless card - up from the existing limit of £45.

The contactless limit was initially increased from £30 at the beginning of the pandemic, with plans to raise it further announced in the Chancellor’s Budget.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak commented: “Increasing the contactless limit will make it easier than ever to pay safely and securely.

“As people get back to the High Street, millions of payments will be made simpler, providing a welcome boost for retailers and shoppers.”

Some organisations across the UK have expressed concern about the rise. Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, explained: “While the move brings more convenience for some it also carries two big warnings. First, it is a thief’s dream, as they can take far more of your money in each transaction if you card is lost or stolen.

“Second, there is a risk for those who are in debt getting further into debt. The easier a card transaction is the less the consumer is actively thinking about how much they are spending, meaning it’s easier to rack up larger bills on a credit card.”

A report from UCL’s Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science echoed the concerns: “Raising the contactless card limit to £100 would likely make card theft more attractive, increasing a broad range of acquisitive crimes including snatch theft of wallets and purses, hold-up robberies, and home and vehicle break-ins to find cards that can be used fraudulently.

“Past experience suggests it could attract new cohorts of teen criminals who are more likely to progress to extended criminal careers, with implications for longer term crime rates.”

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