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Contactless and the Way COVID-19 Is Changing Our Shopping Preferences

by: Pete Bettles
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Introduced in 2007, the Contactless limit was £10, this increased to £15 in 2010, £20 in 2012 and then £30 in 2015. Contactless limits have increased for a fourth time, from £30 to £45 in the UK (€30 to €50 in Ireland) on 1 April 2020. 

The decision was made to bring forward the Contactless limit change, as the COVID-19 outbreak further encouraged customers and retailers to reduce their handling of cash, instead switching to card and particularly, Contactless transactions. This means customers will begin to see an increasing number of places accepting the new £45 limit, as this is phased in and software updated. The change doesn’t impact Apple and GooglePay transactions however, as they continue to be unlimited due to the biometric security built into devices. 

In 2019, UK Finance reported ‘£80.5 billion was spent using Contactless payments, an increase of 16 per cent on the year before.’* With two-thirds of UK adults using contactless paymentsĖ , I believe that the new increases will further cement this as one of the most popular payment options in the UK. 

How COVID-19 is Changing The Way We Shop 

Along with an increase in cashless transactions, traditional channels are being avoided in the short-term, due to social distancing guidelines. As people engage more with each other and their favoured brands on social media, there are new ways in which businesses can continue to share their products and services. 

In the UK alone, Facebook has an audience of 44.84 million^, so using tools, such as our new SocialCommerce App makes it quick and easy to share products and services with instant payment links to boost sales and allow easy checkout. This keeps businesses trading, as volumes in traditional channels are challenged, they can increase in these alternative channels.

What You Can Do

If you’re a Global Payments customer and have one of our terminals, you don’t need to worry about the Contactless limit increase, as we’ve started the updates. All of our terminals being sent out from 1 April 2020 are set up to accept the new £45 limit. Equally, if you’re thinking of trading online or on social media, get in touch and we’ll do our best to open up alternative payment options for you and your customers.

* https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/contactless-limit-change-faqs
Ė  https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/pdf/UK-Finance-UK-Payment-Markets-Report-2019-SUMMARY.pdf
^ https://www.statista.com/statistics/1012080/uk-monthly-numbers-facebook-users/