Pay With Contactless If You Can

On April 1st, the UK’s contactless payment limit increases from £30 to £45, alongside limit increases in 28 other countries across Europe.

Mastercard has announced its commitment to enabling the increase in contactless payment limits across Europe, as 29 countries implement new limits to improve the shopping experience across the region.

“Mastercard was the first to grasp the potential and ensure all payment terminals became contactless ready from 1st January 2020. We have all now seen how quickly people have embraced Contactless payments as their preferred way to pay every day,” said Milan Gauder, Executive Vice President of Product and Innovation, Europe at Mastercard in last Wednesday’s press release. “Today’s announcement is designed to reflect the pace of changing behaviours of the people we all serve giving them ease, speed and peace of mind in a fast changing world.” 

UK, Ireland, Estonia and Poland are leading the way with permanent changes to limits while others are implementing temporary limit raises to help their people shop more easily during this difficult time.

The limit increase is a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic, with many stores and customers now wary of handling cash or touching PIN pads, considering them to be surfaces upon which the virus may be able to survive for a significant duration.

This follows both China and Korea disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not specifically issued a warning against using cash but does advise the public to wash their hands after handling money, especially if subsequently handling or eating food. The Bank of England strengthens the motivation to avoid cash by acknowledging that banknotes "can carry bacteria or viruses" and urges people to wash their hands regularly.

The contactless limit increase is invaluable in supporting the current social-distancing guidelines by allowing consumers to increase their spend on essentials at any one time, helping to reduce the frequency of store trips necessary to maintain a household’s basic requirements.

This is particularly helpful for K Ring customers at a time when grabbing a coffee on the go, buying lunch or jumping on the Tube isn’t going to be possible for a while, with the limit increase letting you now pay for a larger basket of shopping essentials with your contactless payment ring. Your K Ring will not be damaged by soap, water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, so please continue to wash your hands as often as possible – especially after having been in a public space – and use hand sanitiser as much as necessary. We recommend removing your K Ring while you wash your hands, ensuring you clean the inner band as thoroughly as the exterior. Please strictly follow the NHS handwashing guidelines.

Some shops, given the strain they're currently under, may take longer than others to implement the necessary changes to their systems, but K Ring customers will be able to start making contactless payments up to £45 from 0500hrs (UK time) Thursday, April 2nd.

Here’s the full list of the 29 countries which will be increasing their contactless payment limits, showing both current and new limits:

Country Currency Current limit New limit

Albania

LEK

2000

4500

Armenia

AMD

12100

20000

Belarus

BYN

20

100

Bulgaria

BGN

50

100

Croatia

HRK

100

350

Cyprus

EUR

20

50

Estonia

EUR

25

50

Georgia

EL

45

100

Germany

EUR

25

50

Greece

EUR

25

50

Hungary

HUF

5000

15000

Ireland

EUR

30

50

Kazakhstan

KZT

5000

20000

Kosovo

EUR

15

40

Kyrgyzstan

KGS

1525

2500

Latvia

EUR

25

50

Lithuania

EUR

25

50

Luxembourg

EUR

25

50

Malta

EUR

25

50

N. Macedonia

MKD

750

2000

Netherlands

EUR

25

50

Poland

PLN

50

100

Portugal

EUR

20

50

Spain

EUR

20

50

Sweden

SEK

200

400

Tajikistan

TJS

140

200

Turkey

TRY

120

250

UK

GBP

30

45

Uzbekistan

UZS

52500

250000


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31 Mar 2020