Less than a month after the new £45/€50 contactless limit was implemented in the UK and Ireland, Barclaycard, which handles half of all contactless transactions in the UK, revealed it has processed over 7 million contactless payments above the previous limit of £30/€30.
The news underlines the growth of contactless payments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers seek to continue combatting the spread of the bacteria.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments said: “We want to play our part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so we are delighted to have reached 7 million transactions so quickly.
“We would like to thank our clients both large and small for working with us to make the required changes, and for promoting the new limits to consumers.
“This rapid adoption would not have been possible without them. We believe that contactless is the safest, fastest and most responsible way to pay in store, and we encourage all consumers to take advantage of the new higher limit where possible.”
The higher limit helps prevent the spread of the virus by allowing more shoppers to pay without touching card terminals or handling cash. It also helps reduce the volume of people in stores by reducing queue times – contactless transactions are, on average, seven seconds faster than Chip and PIN, and 15 seconds faster than cash.
Barclaycard data also reveals that 43 per cent of in-store transactions between £30/€30 and £45/€50 are now made using contactless. This is expected to increase as public awareness of the new limit grows, and as more businesses implement the technology change on their card machines.
Deployment of the new limit is being prioritised for retailers in key sectors, including grocery & supermarket stores, bakeries, pharmacies and petrol service stations. Barclaycard will be supporting the deployment of the higher contactless limit to other sectors in due course.
The new limit has led the average value of contactless transactions to jump from £9.28 in 2019, to just under £14 today. The average value of all new contactless transactions above the previous limit of £30 is just under £36. The total amount spent using contactless on transactions over £30 is already over £264 million.