Starting today, you will be able to authorize contactless transactions of up to £30. Isn't that cool! This will include a couple of hot coffees, an extra day's groceries or another round of drinks for your buddies.
The good news is that the average shopping basket in the UK is about £25, which means contactless payments will become more universal and easier for you. Visa says that the increased limit will bring in 1.1 million additional transactions per day in the country, especially from supermarkets and pound shops.
In addition, over 75 per cent of debit and credit card transactions are also below £30, which means there's a huge market waiting for contactless payments which is faster and easier than card-based transactions.
However, there's a catch. Just announcing it doesn't make it available. To make the upgrade possible, individual vendors across the country will have to upgrade their terminals so that they can accept payments in excess of £20, which used to be the limit until today. There's no law which can force them to go for the upgrade, so whether you'll be able to make such transactions depends on if the vendor wants to accept them.
Even though popular supermarkets will go for the upgrade quickly to encourage buying, Visa says that "retailers and other organisations will continue the upgrade process throughout the coming months." It'll also not be possible for you to know if a retailer will accept £30 payments until he tells you so, since the terminals remain the same and only the software needs upgradation.
We are still optimistic, given that consumers are looking for faster and easier ways to shop and make payments and retailers are keen to let them do so. Since the maximum limit has just been raised today, we're sure that retailers using the upgraded terminals will be in a majority by the turn of the year.