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Contactless spending limit to rise to £45 from £30

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The limit for contactless spending in shops will increase from £30 to £45 from next week.

The move is to try and limit physical contact during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

From 1 April, shoppers will begin to see an increasing number of retailers accepting contactless card payments up to the new £45 limit.

However, given the pace at which this change is being rolled out, the new limits will take some time to be introduced across all retailers, banking trade body UK Finance said.

Shoppers spending more than £45 can use Chip and Pin or mobile payments, which do not have an upper limit when authenticated using fingerprint recognition.

More retailers have been switching to cash-free transactions since the Covid-19 outbreak over fears the virus can be transmitted via banknotes.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organistion (WHO) encouraged people to use digital payment methods instead of cash in the wake of the global pandemic.

According to UK Finance, plans to increase the contactless limit were already under consideration but were expedited because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The payments industry has been working closely with retailers to be able to increase the contactless payment limit to help customers with their shopping at this critical time for the country.

“This will give more people the choice to opt for the speed and convenience of purchasing goods using their contactless card, helping to cut queues at the checkout.

“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.”

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