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Home Fintechs Contactless Limits Around the World

Contactless Limits Around the World

The contactless limit in the UK has increased to £100 from £45 as of October 15th, allowing customers to make larger purchases without using a chip and PIN. In the UK, 88% of debit cards and 81% of credit cards have contactless functionality, making contactless technology a feature of the majority of bank accounts worldwide.1

The previous maximum payment of £45 that was implemented in April 2020 has been more than doubled to the new contactless limit. The following infographic was made to illustrate how contactless limits vary globally as a result of recent increases in contactless card limits in other nations.

The highest contactless limit in Europe: UK 

The UK currently boasts the largest contactless card limit in all of Europe, according to the infographic. The £100 restriction in the UK is more than twice as much as the €50 (£42) cap that applies to nations in the eurozone including Spain, Germany, and Portugal.

With a contactless maximum of 80 Swiss Francs (about £63), Switzerland has the second-highest restriction in Europe behind the United Kingdom. While their Scandinavian neighbors, Norway, have a limit of £43 that is comparable to the rest of Europe, Sweden has a contactless limit of £34.

The lowest contactless limit in Europe is £18 in Poland, while the next-lowest restriction is £27 in North Macedonia.

The top contactless limit globally: Canada 

With a contactless maximum of 250 CAD, or slightly under £150, Canada narrowly defeats the United States to claim first place. While in the US, the limit is 200 USD (£146).

Meanwhile Australia and New Zealand are slightly beyond the UK’s contactless card maximum of £100, Asian nations Singapore, China, and Japan all have contactless limitations of £105.

Canada250 CAD£146.93
USA200 USD£145.62
Japan20,000 Japanese Yen£127.35
China1000 Chinese Yuan£113.14
Singapore200 Singapore Dollars£107.85
Australia200 AUD£107.64
New Zealand200 NZD£102.81
United Arab Emirates500 AED£99.05
Bahrain50 BHD£96.74

The lowest contactless limit globally: Iran

On the other end of the spectrum, Iran has the lowest contactless limit around the world, with the country’s 200,000 Iranian Rial limit converting to just £3.43. Chile has the lowest South American limit of £12, while Brazil’s is similar to the African nations Kenya and Uganda who have a limit below £30.

Iran200000 IRR£3.43
Chile12000 CLP£12
Poland100 PLN£18.45
Turkey250 TRY£19.59
Kenya3500 KES£22.97
South Africa500 ZAR£23
Brazil200 BR£26.43
Uganda135000 UGX£27.17
North Macedonia2000 MKD£27.40
Egypt600 EGP£27.81

The contactless limit varies across other major countries as well, with Russia having a contactless limit of 5000 Russian roubles (£51) while India is just below with a limit of 5000 Indian rupees (£48).

Richard Lynch, Managing Director of Suits Me® said: “The UK was an early adopter of contactless payment technology, introducing the first contactless-enabled cards in 2007. Since then, the technology has come a long way and our research shows that the UK is leading in Europe with its new £100 contactless payment limit.”

“But we’re far from the biggest contactless spenders – across the Atlantic, the US and Canada both have contactless limits that convert to more than £145, and in Japan, consumers can spend up to £127 by simply tapping their card against a reader.”

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