Contactless limit to increase to £100 from 15 October

The national roll-out of the new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments will begin from 15 October 2021, UK Finance announces today.

The national roll-out of the new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments will begin from 15 October 2021, UK Finance announces today.

The decision to raise the contactless limit from £45 to £100 was made by HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority following a public consultation and in discussion with both the retail and banking sectors. It follows on from the successful increase in the limit from £30 to £45 in April 2020.

From 15 October 2021, consumers will start to see retailers accepting contactless payments up to the new £100 limit, which will give customers more flexibility when shopping in store. Given the number of terminals which will need to be updated to accept the new limit, it will take some time to be introduced across all retailers.  To check if a retailer has updated to the new limit, customers should either ask in store or follow the prompts on the card payment machine when paying.

For consumers spending more than £100 there are many ways to pay, for example through Chip & PIN, cash and alternatives such as mobile payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay which do not have an upper limit when authenticated through biometric technologies like fingerprint or facial recognition.

David Postings, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said:

Contactless payment has proved very popular with consumers and an increasing number of transactions are being made using contactless technology. The increase in the limit to £100 will allow people to pay for higher value transactions like their weekly shop or filling up their car with fuel. The payments industry has worked hard to put in place the infrastructure to enable retailers to update their payments systems so they can start to offer their customers this new higher limit.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

Increasing the contactless limit will make it easier than ever to pay safely and securely - whether that's at the local shops, or your favourite pub and restaurant. As people get back to the high street, millions of payments will made be simpler, providing a welcome boost for retailers and shoppers.

Notes to editor

For more information please call the UK Finance press office on 020 7416 6750 or email

  1. UK Finance is the collective voice for the banking and finance industry. Representing around 300 firms across the industry, we act to enhance competitiveness, support customers and facilitate innovation.
  2. UK Finance manages the process for setting the industry contactless limit. HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed changes to its rules to allow for the contactless limit increase to £100 in March 2021. The FCA also confirmed the threshold for multiple contactless transactions before a customer is required to enter their PIN will also rise from £130 to £300.
  3. UK Finance?s latest card spending data, including contactless card spending, is available here. 
  4. Contactless is one of a range of payment methods and the industry will continue to work closely with HM Treasury and regulators to ensure that customers can pay in a way that suits them, including by ensuring access to cash remains free and widely accessible for those that continue to need it.
  5. Common misconceptions about contactless card payments and fraud:

Criminals can steal my details from my contactless card - FALSE

You must be extremely close to someone for them to be able to read your card. Even then, they would only get the card number and expiry date which is the same information you see by simply looking at the front of any card.
There?s no way anyone can access to the important details such as the security code on the back of the card.

As the vast majority of online retailers require additional details like these to make a purchase, there is very little chance of a fraudster being able to make online transactions.

A fraudster could take money from my card just by bumping into me in the street or on public transport - FALSE

There has never been any verified report of this ever happening in the UK. It?s not possible to simply ?steal? cash from a contactless card. All money must go through the card system.

You must have a retail account to get any money from a card payment. There are thorough security checks before these can be set up and new accounts are continuously monitored for any suspicious activity.

Moreover, as every card payment is fully traceable, right through to the recipient account, if any fraudulent activity was reported the recipient could be easily identifiable and the money would be taken back.

Finally, a contactless card must be used in a specific way to work. That means it can only be a few centimetres away from the card reader and not near any metal objects, like keys and mobile phones, or indeed any other contactless card.

If I lose my card all my money can be taken through contactless transactions - FALSE

Every card has an in-built security check which means from time-to-time you have to enter your PIN to verify that you are the genuine cardholder. You can also only spend a maximum of £100 in any single contactless card transaction.
However, if you lose your card, or think it might have been stolen, then you should contact your bank straight away.

You are fully protected against fraud, so you get all of your money back and will never be left out of pocket. If you notice any suspicious activity on your account, contact your bank immediately.

Criminals can still use my card after it has been cancelled - FALSE

Changes to the way contactless transactions are processed mean that in almost every case when a card is used the card machine gets an approval from your bank before it takes a payment. So if you have reported your cards as lost or stolen, it will not work.

I could accidentally pay for someone else's shopping by walking past them at the till - FALSE

Contactless cards only work when they are just a few centimetres from the card machine, so there?s no chance you could end up paying for someone else?s shopping.

If I've got two contactless cards in my purse or wallet, I might pay for my shopping twice - FALSE

There is no way you can pay for the same purchase on two cards at once. That is because card machines can only ever do a transaction with one card at a time. Every individual transaction must be keyed in separately by the sales assistant.

To make sure that you pay with the right card, we always recommend taking the card you want to pay with out of your purse or wallet and touching it against the card reader. If you present your purse or wallet to the device and it contains more than one contactless card, the cards will clash and no payment will be taken.