The UK contactless card spending limit is to rise from £30 to £45 from 1 April.

The planned UK contactless limit rise had been under consideration for some time.

But the increase is being brought forward as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Specifically, the increased use of contactless will reduce the need for physical contact in retailers.

At the same time, the UK contactless limit rise will help to reduce the use of cash.

Ireland: contactless limit rise to €45

The UK move mirrors increases in the contactless spending limit in other European markets.

For example, the contactless limit in Ireland will rise from €30 to €50 from April.

But the new limits in the UK and Ireland will take some time to offered by all shops.

“The payments industry has been working closely with retailers to be able to increase the contactless payment limit. This helps customers with their shopping at this critical time for the country.

“This gives more people the choice to opt for the speed and convenience of purchasing goods using their contactless card. And helps to cut queues at the checkout, says Stephen Jones, CEO, UK Finance.

“The industry continues to work closely with the government and regulators to support customers impacted by COVID-19 and ensure that they can pay in a way that suits them.”

Mark Barnett, Divisional President of Mastercard in the UK, adds: “As we all collectively navigate the current unsettling and uncertain times, providing consumers and businesses with a choice in how they wish to pay and get paid, remains a constant for us. On this basis we fully support the increased contactless limit here in the UK and across Europe.

Contactless limit rise: key sectors to be prioritised

Cardholders and shopkeepers will soon be able to make and receive more of their purchases both quickly and securely, and without the need to enter a PIN.”

The COVID-19 crisis means that deployment will be prioritised for retailers in key sectors. Examples include grocery & supermarket stores, bakeries, pharmacies and petrol service stations. Deployment of the higher contactless limit to other merchants in due course.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments says: “It’s more important than ever for merchants and their customers to be mindful of their collective health and safety.

“By supporting the ability of customers to spend up to £45 via contactless, we are playing a part in helping UK consumers to pay safely and securely in these challenging times”.