New £30 contactless card limit begins today We answer your contactless questions

01 September 2015

contactless card being swiped on machine

The limit for a single payment using a contactless debit or credit card has risen to £30. 

The rise, up from £20 previously, follows a surge in use of contactless payments for small purchases.

More than £2.5bn was spent using contactless payments in the first half of 2015, according to the UK Cards Association. 

However, many consumers remain unconvinced about the security of this new technology. Here, Which? money experts answer some of the most commonly-asked questions about contactless payment technology. 

Find out more: Contactless cards - our guide explains how this technology works

What are the security risks? 

From today, holders of contactless debit or credit cards will be able to pay for items worth up to £30 without having to enter a Pin, although there's a restriction on the number of contactless transactions that can be made before the Pin is requested.

Previous Which? research suggested a thief could spend between up to £100 on a stolen contactless card before being asked to provide a Pin, but this new single payment limit may have increased this figure.

Our research also suggested it's possible to steal someone's credit card details without taking the card itself, using contactless card-reading technology. 

Find out more: Which? exposes contactless card flaw - find out how we remotely stole contactless card details   

What can you do to protect your details?

There are metal cases on the market that claim to protect your cards from being read, although we haven’t yet tested their effectiveness. 

Which? research suggests that lining your wallet with foil should protect your card details from being read, but we don’t think this is essential.

If you're a victim of contactless fraud, your card provider should reimburse you, as long as you've have taken reasonable steps to keep your card safe.

Know your rights: Unauthorised card payments - when should you be reimbursed

Do you have to accept a contactless card?

In June 2015, there were approximately 69m contactless cards in circulation, but you don't have to use one if you don't want to. 

Tell your bank you'd rather have a traditional Chip and Pin card without contactless technology, and it should replace your contactless card with the minimum of fuss. 

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