THE contactless payment limit will rise to £100 today, meaning you can spend more just by tapping your card.
Most Brits use contactless, with the latest figures showing 83% of people living in the UK used the payment method at least some of the time.
During 2020, the number of contactless payments in the UK increased 12% to 9.6billion as people preferred the touch-free method during the pandemic.
Between January to July of this year, 60% of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK were made using contactless.
This accounted for 6.6billion payments, with a combined value of £81.4billion.
But it's not just a Covid phenomenon. In the past four years, contactless transactions have jumped from being 7% of all payments to 27%, according to UK Finance.
Here's everything you need to know about the increase today – including whether you can set your own limit.
What is the contactless payment limit?
The contactless limit is the amount of money you can spend on your debit or credit card per transaction by tapping it instead of putting in your PIN.
The amount of money shoppers could spend using contactless was increased during the pandemic, rising from £30 to £45.
You can spend as much as you want in a day, and complete as many transactions as you like, but you might need to enter your PIN occasionally as a security measure.
You can also use contactless to pay using your phone if you have Google Pay or Apple Pay – but these services don't currently have a limit.
What is the limit changing to?
From today, the limit will rise to £100 per transaction.
Some retailers might take longer to complete the changeover, so you might only be able to tap on transactions up to £45 in some places to begin with.
To check you should just ask at the till, otherwise payments will work as before.
Why is the limit changing?
The limit is rising to reflect the popularity of contactless as a payment method in shops and restaurants, as well as on public transport.
The increase will allow customers the same convenience but for bigger purchases – such as their weekly food shop.
David Postings, chief executive of UK Finance, said: "Contactless payment has proved very popular with consumers and an increasing number of transactions are being made using contactless technology.
"The increase in the limit to £100 will allow people to pay for higher value transactions like their weekly shop or filling up their car with fuel."
Can I set my own contactless payment limit?
Despite the popularity of using contactless payment methods, many shoppers may not want the new higher limit.
There are concerns around the risk of theft or that it could be harder to budget if it is made easier to spend more just by tapping your card.
If you're worried about overspending, some banks will let you put your own limit in place.
Lloyds Banking Group, which runs Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland is giving shoppers the power to set their own spending cap.
Customers of the three banks will be able to set a personal limit for their card between £35 and £95, and can set the cap in increments of £5.
Starling Bank will let users set their own limit in £10 increments and it can also be turned off through the challenger bank's app.
Rival app-only challenger bank Monzo will let customers turn contactless off completely, but not set their own limit.
RBS, NatWest, Santander and TSB all have similar policies and changes can be made on their apps, online or over the phone.
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