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.
|Japan||20,000 Japanese Yen||£127.35|
|China||1000 Chinese Yuan||£113.14|
|Singapore||200 Singapore Dollars||£107.85|
|New Zealand||200 NZD||£102.81|
|United Arab Emirates||500 AED||£99.05|
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.
|South Africa||500 ZAR||£23|
|North Macedonia||2000 MKD||£27.40|
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.”