The payment limit for purchases made using a contactless debit or credit card has gone up from £15 to £20, it has been announced.
This is the second time the payment limit for contactless cards has been increased, having gone up from £10 to £15 in 2010.
Contactless cards work by allowing customers to pay for things simply by swiping the card over a reader, without having to enter a PIN.
The technology has been around for a number of years, but is only now starting to grow in popularity amongst cardholders.
There are currently around 23 million contactless credit and debit cards in use in the UK, which can be used at thousands of outlets around the country.
More than 50 national retailers use the contactless payment system in-store, including Greggs, Boots and McDonald’s. The payment limit will take effect in various stores throughout June.
Experts have welcomed the increase, arguing that customers are increasingly using their plastic rather than cash for low-cost transactions.
“Low-value transactions have been gradually moving from cash to card. Contactless cards provide another convenient and fast method for paying for low-cost goods and services,” said Melanie Johnson, chair of the UK Cards Association.
“They attract the same level of protection as traditional plastic cards – meaning that customers will suffer no loss if they are a victim of fraud – and certainly provide much more convenience and protection than traditional payment methods such as cash or cheque.”
The increase to £20 per transaction brings the UK in line with the continent. In the eurozone, the payment limit is €25.
“We welcome this increase which will make contactless payments even more useful to people across the country,” said Mark Austin, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe.
“By the end of the year we will be approaching 30 million Visa cards in the UK, and with more major retailers coming on board on a regular basis, the opportunities to use contactless payments are increasing rapidly.”
The increase comes as the Post Office announces that it is introducing contactless payment technology to its branches nationwide.
Terminals will be rolled out across 30,000 counter positions in 11,500 branches, making the Post Office the biggest user of the technology in Europe.
“We are delighted to be delivering cutting edge technology through the Post Office network,” said Lesley Sewell, Chief Information Officer at Post Office Limited.
“Contactless will bring huge benefits to our customers by increasing choice and reducing transaction times,” she added.