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Contactless Limit Could Be More Than Doubled In Update Proposed By Financial Conduct Authority

Contactless Limit Could Be More Than Doubled In Update Proposed By Financial Conduct Authority

The limit was raised to £45 last April at the beginning of the pandemic

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

After the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, contactless payment became the preferred method of purchasing your shopping, petrol and anything else you could get at the hover of a bank card/phone.

With the ever-increasing demand, the limit on how much you could spend was raised from £30 to £45, but now it could be more than doubled to £100.


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking to amend the rules to allow for this potential increase in a bid to support consumers.

The FCA wrote: "Since the limit for contactless card payments was raised to £45 last April at the start of the pandemic, people are increasingly making use of contactless payments.

"It's important that payments regulation keeps pace with consumer and merchant expectations. Recognising changing behaviour in how people pay, as part of a wider consultation, we will shortly be seeking views on amending our rules to allow for a possible increase in the contactless limit to £100."

Nick Fryer, Chief Technology Officer of Dojo, part of the Paymentsense brand told LADbible: "This shift may have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has consumer and industry benefits that go well beyond that.

"Of course, the less contact with a card machine, the less likely germs will spread, but the other major benefit for consumers is convenience.

"More and more people are choosing to pay using Google or Apple Pay, which already allows a higher contactless payment limit, so the want is already there and happening - people are no-doubt comfortable with contactless payments for higher value items."

The FCA will also extend mortgages.

An increase in contactless payments is just one of the ways the FCA is attempting to offer support during the pandemic. The watchdog announced today (27 January) it will also be extending mortgages so that companies should not enforce repossessions - apart from under exceptional circumstances - before 1 April.

In November 2020, guidance was published and stated that firms should generally not enforce repossessions before 31 January 2021.

Today further guidance has been finalised, which follows the overall approach of the draft guidance.

The FCA said: "For mortgages, we are extending the guidance so that firms should not enforce repossessions, except in exceptional circumstances, before 1 April 2021."

Support will also be available for consumers that are experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic which includes taking a payment holiday or receiving tailored support.

You have until 31 March 2021 to apply for a payment holiday for: mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, store cards and catalogue credit, motor finance, including hire-purchase and leasing agreements, rent-to-own, buy now pay later, pawnbroking agreements and high-cost short-term credit.

The FCA guidance on payment holidays reads: "This is time agreed with your lender when you make no or reduced payments. You can request a payment holiday of up to 6 months in total, but lenders can only agree a payment holiday of up to 3 months at a time.

"For high-cost short-term credit, you can apply for a 1 month payment holiday. If you apply by 31 March, you may be able to extend up to 31 July when all payment holidays will come to an end.

"If you've taken a payment holiday your lender will be in touch before it ends to see if you need more help. If you can afford to restart repayments you should, as it will cost less in the long term."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Money, UK