The way we use contactless card payments is set to change next month, so a personal finance expert set out to find out whether the new £100 limit is good or bad for consumers.
Since its introduction in September 2007, contactless eavesdropping has become the norm and now 64% of all our debit card transactions are done without a PIN.
Andy Webb from BeCleverWithYourCash notes that just a year and a half ago some shoppers were saying the £30 limit was too high, but we soon got used to it.
It looks at everything from fraud and security issues to the pros and cons of the convenient new cash available at the click of a button, plus some advice for those worried about losing track of faucets.
Are contactless payments safe?
From October 15, 2021, the limit will increase from £45 to £100, which is the highest ever.
Andy acknowledges that this might make people more attracted to the idea of stealing our cards, but he says that doesn’t happen a lot and there’s also very little evidence to suggest that criminals are able to exploit our cards through our wallets.
It reminds us that there are protections in place in the form of a five-transaction limit, which means that after five taps, you’ll need to use your PIN.
This also happens if you spend a total of £300 on multiple contactless purchases.
So that means the biggest loss you will suffer is £300 and you will get that money back from your bank.
Limit contactless fraud
Andy said: “You can also limit losses with most banks by activating a few features in the app.
“One is to get instant notifications every time the card is used. If one pops up on your phone and it wasn’t you, then you know to take action.”
Some apps allow us to easily freeze accounts, so if we think something fishy is going on, we can put a stop to spending without completely canceling the card.
Join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for energy and money saving advice, the latest benefits news, consumer help and tips for dealing with the cost crisis. life.
Sign up for our Record Money newsletter and get the best stories delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Friday – sign up here.
You can also follow us on Twitter @Recordmoney_ for regular updates throughout the day.
The biggest impact on our daily lives will be that the majority of our card transactions will be accepted and we will be able to make larger purchases.
Andy says he’s worried about shoppers losing track of their spending: “When you hand over notes and coins or look at the total on a pin-code pad, you’re much more aware of what you’re spending.
And it registers, even unconsciously. You’re more likely to adjust your future spending and get a clearer picture of how much you have in your account.”
He says it’s important for shoppers to regularly check receipts and bank statements on their phones to stay on top of their spending and see the impact of individual expenses on bank balances.
He added: “Some banks may also add the ability to set your own contactless lower limit – a good idea if you’re worried about spending more than you should.”
We already have high limits on smart devices
Andy points out that those who use smart devices like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay to make regular payments will already be used to a much higher spending cap.
If you’re worried you can handle the higher spending cap but use your phone to pay, you’ve already got the practice.
These devices are much safer because they have a thumb or face recognition barrier and second security measures.
He said: “And we may see this technology coming to cards as well. A few years ago, Natwest tested biometric debit cards – although we haven’t rolled them out to customers yet.”
Get the latest savings and benefits news straight to your inbox. Sign up for our weekly Money newsletterhere.