Not sold on the last contactless limit increase? Well, you are not alone. However, depending on who you do your banking with, you may be able to request a lower limit. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the contactless limit?
The contactless limit is the maximum amount you can pay with a contactless card before you have to enter your PIN for verification.
From October 15, 2021, the contactless limit will drop from £ 45 to £ 100. So if you have a contactless card, you can go to a store or business and spend £ 100 without using your PIN.
You can also spend up to £ 300 on separate transactions (instead of £ 130) before you are asked to enter your PIN.
That’s quite a jump from the current limits that came into effect during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 to help people shop safely by reducing physical contact. But what’s behind this latest limit increase?
Why is the contactless limit increasing?
There are three main reasons for the increase in the limit.
First, we are still grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic. Although many of us outnumber, it’s always a good idea to limit the amount of contact we have with “public” surfaces like card machines.
Second, for many, it is more convenient to shop without using a PIN code. If you’re shopping for groceries or filling the car with gas, for example, you can now just type in and go without inserting your card into the machine.
And finally, there is hope that increasing the limit will help Main Street recover from the impact of multiple blockages.
Are there any downsides to the new contactless limit?
Not surprisingly, not everyone is happy with the new limit increase. Why? Well, with higher contactless spending comes a few drawbacks. Here are three:
- Since you can spend up to £ 300 without entering a PIN, the risk of credit card fraud may be higher.
- Thieves may be more tempted to steal wallets, bags and purses if they know they could acquire a few contactless cards.
- It might be easier for people to lose track of their spending because it’s so quick and easy to press and go.
If you are a little wary of increasing the limit, is there anything you can do? May be. It depends on your bank.
Can I set my own contactless limit?
There is good news for some cardholders. A few banks have responded to customer concerns by allowing them to choose a lower limit. You can customize your contactless limit if you have a credit or debit card with:
- Bank of Scotland
If you are a customer, you can set a limit between £ 35 and £ 95 after the increase takes effect. You can even turn off contactless payments altogether if you prefer. Just log into your account through the app and set your preferences.
Do you have a debit or credit card elsewhere? Currently, you can’t change your contactless limit, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change in the future.
To take with
While the higher contactless limit works for some Brits, others might be a little skeptical of the increase. If you are really worried, you can always think about changing banks to have more control over your limit. Or, if you’re shopping for a new credit card, you can check out banks that allow you to set your own limit.
Remember, however, that regardless of the contactless limit, your bank still has to reimburse you for fraudulent activity if your card is stolen – ask your bank for details.
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