Rollout of new £100 contactless limit begins today

The national roll-out of the new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments will begin today, Friday 15 October.

The national roll-out of the new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments will begin today, Friday 15 October.

Consumers will start to see retailers accepting contactless cardpayments up to £100, which will give them more flexibility when shopping in store. This will also help with bigger spends where speed and convenience are valued, such as a family meal out.

Given the number of terminals that need to be updated, the £100 limit may not be available across all retailers immediately. 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. Where the retailer's terminal has not been updated, payment cards can still be used as before.

From January to July of this year 60 per cent of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK were made using contactless. This accounted for 6.6 billion payments, a value of £81.4 billion.

David Postings, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said:

The new £100 limit offers customers greater choice about how they pay for things like their weekly shop or a tank of fuel. Contactless payments have become increasingly popular, and the payments industry has worked hard to ensure retailers are able to offer customers the new higher limit.

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.

Customers are fully protected against any losses due to unauthorised card fraud, for example, if a card has been stolen. Every card also has an in-built security check which means that after a certain amount of contactless spending is undertaken or a certain number of transactions have been made, customers will need to enter their PIN to verify that they are the genuine cardholder. Customers should report lost or stolen cards to their bank immediately.

Notes to editor

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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.

1. Please see our Q&A on the contactless limit increase here.

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.Banks will set their own limit for the value of transactions made before a PIN is required, these will not be published for security reasons. 

3. Individual banks may enable customers to adjust their contactless use settings.

4. UK Finance?s latest card spending data, including contactless card spending, is available here.

5. 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.

6. Common misconceptions about contactless card payments and fraud:


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.. 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.

Rollout of new £100 contactless limit begins today


Press release