It’s a financial revolution that began quietly in September 2007. That is when the first contactless bank cards were introduced in the UK, allowing people to “wave and pay” for low-value items such as a cup of coffee or a newspaper. At the time, spending was capped at £10.
Fourteen years on, with at least 135m contactless cards in circulation and the technology accounting for 9.6bn payments a year and rising, the limit is about to go up to £100. This change, which takes effect on Friday 15 October, will more than double the current £45 cap.
Not everyone is a fan of the new spending limit. Some have labelled it “a thief’s dream” because it means criminals will be able to take far more of your money in each transaction if your card is lost or stolen. Meanwhile, there are fears the new limit will make it too easy for people to lose track of what they are spending, letting them rack up big bills without much thought.