Contactless limit to go up to £30 as card use surges

By Brian Milligan
Personal Finance Reporter

image copyrightBarclaycard
image captionLondoners made 41 million contactless payments on buses and tubes last year

The spending limit on contactless cards is to be increased to £30 from September 2015, the UK Cards Association has announced.

The limit per transaction is currently £20. When the technology was first introduced in 2007, the limit was £10.

The move follows a huge rise in the number of people using contactless cards in the UK.

Transactions have more than tripled, from payments worth £653m in 2013, to £2.32bn last year.

One of the big drivers of uptake has been London's transport network, which introduced contactless payments in September last year.

The technology allows customers to make payments by touching the card on a reader. There is no need for a PIN.

Customers used contactless cards on 319 million occasions in 2014.

Since September, 41 million of those have been on a London bus or tube.

As a result London commuters were responsible for about 1 in 10 of all UK contactless payments in December.

"Contactless has now firmly stepped into the mainstream," said Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association.

"With usage soaring every month last year, we've seen people flocking to contactless payments as they switch away from cash."

Barclaycard said contactless cards had been most popular in London, where 30% of all transactions below £20 were contactless.

In Leeds, 27% of transactions were contactless, and in Cambridge the figure was 15%.

Public transport systems in several cities, including Manchester, plan to introduce contactless payments in the near future.

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