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contactless limit rises

As of today, the spend limit on contactless cards will go up from £20 to £30.

Payments using these cards are much faster because they don't require use of a Pin.

The £20 limit was set to prevent criminals from running up huge debts with stolen cards.

With there being more contactless cards in circulation, more outlets able to accept them and the average supermarket shop at £25, increasing the limit to £30 will give customers more opportunities to pay quickly by card for everyday purchases.

Transactions can be made using credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, wearable devices and other vehicles including smartphones and other mobile devices that use Near Field Communication or Radio Frequency Identification for making secure payments. An embedded chip and antenna enable consumers to wave their card or device over a reader to make a payment. However, don't expect all outlets to enact the increase immediately. With countless thousands of terminals for the payment card industry to upgrade it will inevitably take a while to roll out.

Enabled cards have an identifying logo on them but, typically, other devices will not have an indicator and may require activation. The next step will allow contactless payments for over £30 if you have a device that supports this. Initial verification will be required on the device before payments can be made. For example, this could be via a unique passcode or finger/thumbprint on a smartphone.

Large retailers will be able to adopt this increase in a matter of days but it may take longer for smaller outlets. When upgrading or signing an agreement to be able to accept cards it is advisable to check that the device being ordered is contactless enabled.