Contactless payment limit increased to £45

Cashless Payment graphicAs of today, the contactless payment limit in the UK has been increased to £45.

The change has been implemented in response to the current Coronavirus pandemic. Consultation between the retail sector and the payments industry has taken place, and the UK will follow in the footsteps of other countries raising their limits.

Consumers across the UK are being advised to pay using contactless payment systems wherever possible to reduce the spread of the virus. Using contactless removes the need to touch a card machine to enter a PIN, making it the most hygienic way to pay.

Shoppers have taken heed of the government advice, with a reported a 50% drop in ATM use and cash withdrawals in the few days following Boris Johnson’s announcement.


The news will bring relief to many independent retailers whose doors remain open, as reducing cash handling and customer interaction is currently a priority for employee and customer wellbeing.

Software updates to allow card terminals to accept the new contactless limit will start to roll out during April. There isn’t a proposed deadline, and retailers should be informed of any changes to their terminal by their merchant service provider.


According to the British Retail Consortium, this increase has been in development for over two years. Due to the current economic climate, the launch has been brought forward to help in the current climate.

Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, said: “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.”


Many shops are already putting policies in place to minimise unnecessary contact between customers and employees. Big chains, such as Waitrose, are encouraging their customers to use contactless where possible.

Complying with social distancing rules, customers in many stores are being asked to keep at least two metres apart. Keeping queues as short as possible is vital for stores to remain busy yet compliant.


The contactless limit last increased from £20 to £30 in 2015, and consumers and retailers have been hopeful for further increases ever since. Customers paying using mobile wallets can already make contactless payments of over £30, but card use was capped.

Initially introduced in 2007, the number of contactless transactions has surged in the UK over recent years. It’s speed and simplicity has appealed to busy consumers, who can pay in shops in a matter of seconds.

There are multiple benefits for businesses too. Reduced cash handling, increased revenue and a reduction in queue times have all been linked to accepting contactless transactions. In the current climate, these benefits are proving crucial to keep employees and customers safe.


At Handepay, all of our card terminals are equipped to accept contactless payments as standard. Our existing customers will benefit from this useful increase in the coming weeks.

Financial disclaimer:

Terminal hire contracts are provided by Merchant Rentals Limited, who is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for Consumer Hire under FRN 720500. Terminal hire can be for consumer hire and non-regulated hire contracts. Please check your contract carefully for details. Regulation of all consumer hire fall under the control of the FCA.

Handepay Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA for Consumer Credit under FRN 673564. Handepay is a credit broker for consumer hire not a lender.

Handepay acts as an introducer of card acquiring services on behalf of EVO Payments UK, the card acquiring service provider. EVO Payments UK is the trading name of EVO Payments UK Ltd, a payment institution that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN number 959332).

Existing Cards Businesses- The one-month rolling terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are switching from their current acquirer to EVO Payments UK arranged through Handepay.

New to Cards Businesses- The 12-month terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are new to card payments and wish to receive acquiring services from EVO Payments UK, arranged through Handepay.

The Next Day Banking Settlement service provided by EVO Payments UK incurs an additional fee of £4 a month on top of your acquiring service charges and fees. Provided your card machine performs a reconciliation before 12am (midnight), you’ll receive settlement of funds the next banking day.

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