UK retailers call for higher contactless transaction limit

Paying with a contactless card

More than half of UK retailers that accept contactless payments would like to see the spending limit raised above the current £30 (US$40) cap, with 37% opting for £50 (US$66) and one in five hoping to see a £100 (US$132) ceiling, research released by Barclaycard ahead of the tenth anniversary of the launch of contactless payments in the UK reveals.

Two in five retailers now either only accept card payments or plan to become completely cash-free in the next five years, the research found.

59% of UK consumers now use contactless, with 71% choosing to pay with it more frequently than 12 months ago. 55% do so because it saves them time, while 48% enjoy the convenience of not needing to enter their PIN. 27% say they have spent less time in line waiting to pay, while 52% find they are being served more quickly at the point of sale.

More than a third (34%) of shoppers pay with cash less often compared to last year and 24% are opting to pay more frequently with their contactless cards and devices over chip and PIN when the option is available.

“With proprietary technology data showing that ‘touch and go’ is seven seconds quicker per transaction compared to chip and PIN and 15 seconds faster compared to cash, this time saving is collectively worth £967m (US$1.27bn) in value for British shoppers,” the card issuer concludes.

  • Willam Hugh Murray, CISSP

    Transaction limits are intended to
    compensate for the absence of a PIN. They resist fraudulent use of lost or stolen CARDS.

    The solution is mobile. The mobile resists its own use if lost or stolen. Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay require neither a PIN or transaction limits.

    One step in reducing fraud in our retail payment system is to eliminate the magnetic stripe. Then we eliminate cards.

    • Justedememe

      “Transaction limits are intended to compensate for the absence of a PIN.”
      In fact, we sign with something else, our fingerprint with Touch ID. This is better than a signature and as secure as PIN.

      The limit should not be raised but removed.

      • Willam Hugh Murray, CISSP

        As I understand it, this is true for a mobile. Not for a contactless card. Anyone can use a contactless card.

        Of course, the best protection for a card is reporting it lost or stolen. The PIN or the transaction limit work only until the card is deactivated. In the US most transactions take place online and deactivation is very powerful. In many places, lots of transactions take place off line, where revoking the card may still permit many transactions. Limiting the magnitude of the transaction reduces the cost, if not the frequency of fraudulent use of the card.

        We need to eliminate the magnetic stripe and ultimately dumb cards. Contactless, cardless, (credit card) numberless, limitless, and fraud less.