The UK is set to increase the limit for contactless payment following similar steps already taken in a number of countries. From 1 April 2020 you will now be able to make payments of up to £45 without needing to enter your pin number, UK Finance has announced. The current limit is £30.

The action has been taken to encourage shoppers to pay using contactless instead of using cash. This is another necessary step in the battle against the spread of coronavirus. Contactless payments are also quicker than cash or chip and pin transactions, so there is hope that this will help to reduce queues.

The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Egypt, Poland, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have already taken steps to increase contactless limits, with more likely to follow suit.

As many retailers are already operating at capacity, it might take a while for changes to their systems to be implemented, but retailers should try and do this as quickly as possible. The Head of Payment Policy at the British Retail Consortium, Andrew Cregan stated that the last contactless limit increase to £30 took two years to implement, but we are facing extraordinary circumstances today.

In addition, many of us are very used to the £30 limit, so we tend to automatically insert our card if we are purchasing something over that value. It will be important for card issuers and retailers to notify their customers of the change to avoid customers unnecessarily entering their pin numbers and risking their health.