It's Safer to Keep the Contactless Limit at £30, says London Police Chief

By Tom Pritchard on at

It's been two years since the contactless payment limit rose from £20 to £30, but Commissioner Ian Dyson, the current head of London's police, doesn't think it should go any higher; citing concerns over a potential rise in card fraud if it did.

“I would advise against increasing it for the moment because the losses could be quite significant. At some point the technology will change and you can raise the limit. The cap is there for sound reasons.

I am not advocating a return  to waiting five days for payments to clear but with that convenience the public must accept that there is a risk involved.”

The cap was originally increased because the average weekly shop is £25, allowing people to pay for everything using contactless. The average payment is £8-£9.

Dyson has a point though. While a stolen card can't be used for massive shopping sprees that clock up thousands of pounds of purchases, £30 (or even £20 for that matter) of PIN-free spending power means card thieves can buy quite a lot of stuff. Increasing the limit will only make it easier for thieves to buy stuff before the card gets cancelled.

Surely banks and credit card companies should be focusing on making it more convenient to use cards while still keeping things secure. Thankfully, as things stand, the stats show contactless to be rather safe, with only 2.7p of every £100 spent being the result of fraud. [London Evening Standard]

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