Customers can now spend £30 a time using contactless cards

As the use of contactless debit and credit cards skyrockets, the maximum amount that can be spent per transaction has been increased from £20 to £30.

ìThe growth in contactless payments,î said Graham Peacock of the UK Cards Association, ìshows people want to use contactless cards, and increasing the limit gives more customers even more opportunities to pay in this way.î

Last year, an estimated £2.32 billion was spent using contactless cards, a figure that has already been surpassed by the £2.5 billion spent only in the first half of this year.

The increase in the spending limit looks set to turbo charge this increased usage, with the new £30 cap meaning that the average UK supermarket spend of £25 is now covered.

The popularity of contactless payment, which UK MD of Visa Europe, Kevin Jenkins, has described as the ìnew normalî, has been bolstered by companies like Apple offering innovative methods of payment using their iPhone and iWatch.

Jenkins supported the above claims regarding increased usage of contactless payments, adding that ìthe number of Visa contactless transactions [have] more than [trebled] in the past year in the UKî.

However, this advance in payment technology is not without its concerns. Various watchdog groups, including Which? have drawn attention to the increased risk of theft and credit card fraud related to the increased use of contactless cards.

It is much easier for a fraudster to access a contactless card than it would be to access one that works only by chip and pin. However, findings from Which? showed that the actual rates of fraud related to contactless cards are actually rather low, with less than a penny being stolen (or fraudulently spent) for every £100 legitimately spent.

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