Contactless card limit rises to £30 as card use surges

image copyrightTfL Visual Image Services

Shoppers in the UK will now be able to spend up to £30 using contactless cards after the limit was increased.

The limit per transaction for the wave and pay cards, which do not require a PIN or a signature to authorise payment, was previously £20.

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

Transactions for the first half of this year totalled £2.5bn, already higher than the £2.32bn spent in 2014.

The UK Cards Association, the trade body for the card payments industry, said the increase meant that the average supermarket spend of £25 would now be covered.

"The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards, and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way," said chief executive Graham Peacop.

'The new normal'

In July, consumer group Which? warned that data from contactless cards could be easily stolen by determined fraudsters.

But the trade body said fraud via the cards was "extremely low", at less than one penny for every £100 spent.

The increase also comes after technology giant Apple allowed users of its latest devices to make contactless payments.

Kevin Jenkins, managing director UK and Ireland at Visa Europe, said contactless payments were becoming the "new normal".

"We've seen unprecedented growth in this area, with the number of Visa contactless transactions more than trebling in the past year in the UK," he added.

The increase was first announced in February.

Payment terminals must be updated for the new limit to apply, and card issuers still have the right to limit an individual's contactless payments to a lower amount.

More on this story