The contactless limit for in-store card transactions will increase from £30 to £45 from 1 April in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

11. contactless payment

The aim is to reduce the need for physical contact with PIN-entry devices at point of sale.

Barclaycard, which provides the technology to power over 150,000 terminals across the UK retail sector, said it would be prioritising deployment of the higher contactless limit in grocery stores.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said it may take longer to roll out the new contactless limit at retailers that are currently operating at full capacity.

BRC head of payments policy, Andrew Cregan, said: “The last contactless limit increase to £30 took two years to implement but, given the extraordinary circumstances we face today, this new £45 limit will be rolled-out from next week.

“Some shops will take longer to make the necessary changes, given the strain they’re under. In the meantime, most customers can continue to make contactless payments for higher amounts using their smart phone.”

Barclaycard Payments ceo Rob Cameron said: “It’s more important than ever for merchants and their customers to be mindful of their collective health and safety.

“We are proud to be taking a leadership position in the UK by commencing the deployment of a higher contactless threshold. By supporting the ability of customers to spend up to £45 via contactless, we are playing a part in helping UK consumers to pay safely and securely in these challenging times”.