The contactless payment limit will increase to £100 on October 15, adding an extra £55 to the current spend cap.
The increase was first confirmed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the March Budget and The Mirror has now been told lenders are preparing to roll it out from October 15.
Visa, one of the biggest payment providers, said the increase will kick in on October 15 – a date the Treasury did not dispute when asked.
“The decision to raise the contactless limit to £100 is a good move for British shoppers and for our high streets alike,” a Visa spokeswoman said.
“Contactless payments offer a fast, and seamless payment experience. Furthermore, contactless remains one of the most secure ways to pay, with one of the lowest fraud rates of any type of payment.”
A UK Finance spokesperson said: “The contactless limit increase to £100 will allow customers to pay for higher value transactions like their weekly shop or filling up their car with fuel.”
The tap and go limit, which was originally £10 when it launched in 2007, rose to £45 last April at the height of the pandemic.
In spring this year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed it was consulting on another rise this autumn.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the increase would take effect in his spring statement.
There were rumours it would be rolled out on August 5, however the Treasury later said it would be autumn 2021.
Mr Sunak said: “As we begin to open the UK economy and people return to the high street, the contactless limit increase will make it easier than ever before for people to pay for their shopping, providing a welcome boost to retail that will protect jobs and drive growth.”
Some retailers have encouraged shoppers to pay by card in response to the Covid pandemic, although a study by the Bank of England found the risk of catching coronavirus from banknotes is extremely low.
The current £45 limit is three times the amount it was a decade ago.
The UK’s tap and go limit rose to £15 in 2010, £20 in 2012 and £30 in 2015.
The upcoming rise in the legal limit from £45 to £100 is only allowed due to Brexit.
The European Union had a cap on contactless payments for member states which applied to Britain until January this year.
Increases in the contactless spending limit will see customers able to splurge on bigger ticket purchases with a quick swipe or a thumb-print on their phone.
Pete Wickes, EMEA General Manager for Worldpay from FIS, said it was likely to have a positive impact for consumers as society became increasingly cashless – but he added a note of caution.
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Mobile contactless payments – which have higher limits and biometric security like thumb-print technology – are likely to account for £125billion worth of sales on the UK high street by 2024, he predicted.
Mr Wickes added: “Our research reveals that around 40% of UK consumers still have lingering doubts about contactless security. Education will be key.
“The decision to raise the contactless limit to £100 is a good move for British shoppers and for our high streets alike. Contactless payments offer a fast, and seamless payment experience. Furthermore, contactless remains one of the most secure ways to pay, with one of the lowest fraud rates of any type of payment.”
UK Finance, the industry body added: “The payments industry has worked hard to put in place the infrastructure to enable retailers to update their payments systems when they are ready.”
Speaking on fraud, it said a payee would have to be extremely close to someone for them to be able to read a bank card via contactless.
It would also have to be only 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.
“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,” UK Finance said.
In order for a person to withdraw money from a contactless machine, the device would also have to be registered as an approved retailer.
Will I be asked to enter my pin between payments?
Every card has a in-built security check which means from time-to-time you may 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.
One lender Santander, told The Mirror: “We will periodically request customers enter their card and complete a Chip & PIN transaction to confirm that it’s still them using the card.
“With the higher contactless transaction limit, this will happen more often. If a contactless transaction is declined customers should try Chip & PIN instead as it might be this security feature at work.”
Customers will always need to complete a Chip & PIN transaction on any new card before contactless will work so their bank knows it’s them using the card.
If you lose your card, or think it might have been stolen, you should contact your bank straight away.