Could increasing the cap on contactless card payments help boost high street sales?

Industry experts hope tomorrow’s increase to the upper limit on contactless card payments will help boost spend on the high street.  The cap will increase from £45 to £100 this Friday, meaning shoppers will be able to spend more in one transaction without inputting their pin number.

When contactless payments were first introduced in 2007 they were capped at £10. This limit was then raised to £20 in 2012 and £30 in 2015. During the pandemic, the limit was increased to £45 as germ-conscious shoppers turned their backs on cash.

Sandra Rowley at card payment solutions provider says the increase is good news for retailers: “The £100 increase to contactless card payments mirrors the consumer demand for faster card payments,” she says. “The coronavirus pandemic has sped up the decline in cash usage more quickly than expected, and the payments the industry has recognised this.

“Many merchants have invested time and money into setting up contactless payments in response to the pandemic, our annual business trends report revealed one in ten business owners introduced card machines into their business last year in response to the pandemic, so it makes sense the regulator makes sure consumers and their bank cards keep up with the changing pace. It could also result in increased spending, which would help the current struggle many small businesses are facing.”