These changes will allow the industry to increase the limit for contactless payments at the point of sale to securely improve convenience for consumers and merchants. In the future we could see more consumers using contactless card payments for higher value transactions such as purchasing fuel and weekly groceries without needing to use Chip and PIN.
Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition said: ‘During the pandemic, more people have been using contactless payments. We are changing our rules to help the industry continue to respond to the changing ways in which people prefer to pay.’
‘Increasing the regulatory limits allows industry to raise the contactless limit in the future to meet the evolving expectations of customers and merchants for fast but secure ways to pay. When making any change, it is important that the industry continues to ensure the right protections are in place to keep payments safe and secure.’
There has been an ongoing increase in the use of contactless payments in recent years. In response to this changing behaviour and the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the industry had already increased the contactless limit from £30 to £45 in April 2020.
To support consumers and merchants during coronavirus, the FCA had confirmed that they were very unlikely to take enforcement action where a firm fails to require Chip and PIN when a customer exceeds the cumulative transaction value threshold. As a result of the new changes, this flexibility is no longer needed. This means that firms will be required to comply with the new thresholds and that the FCA may take appropriate measures, including enforcement action, where breaches of the limits set in new rules are identified.