Contactless card limits are £100, and many people worry about overspending and safety. Here’s how to set your own contactless limit or turn it off.
I know that not all people like the increase to the £100 contactless payment limit. I’ve heard reasons like you’re worried about overspending, that you can’t track payments as easily with your online banking or that you’ll lose your card and have unknown payments show up on your account.
Instead of reverting to cash, you can request to reduce the contactless limit, turn it off or not have a contactless card at all.
Doing this should allow you to feel more in control of how you spend money and reduce any security fears you might have.
Each bank has different rules, and some unfortunately don’t allow it. Here are your options.
Reduce your contactless payment limit
Although contactless payments are 100% protected by fraud from your bank, not everyone wants to have such a large limit.
If you’re looking to reduce the contactless payment limit or turn it off, here’s what MSE have found will be in place by 15 October.
I’m interested to know: if your bank won’t allow the payment limit to go down, does it make you want to switch to another provider?
Bank of Scotland
You can request a contactless limit of between £30 to £95 with Bank of Scotland for debit cards via the app, online or if you give them a call. The bank is introducing this later this year.
You can also ask that they turn off contractless altogether using the app, making the request online or giving them. a call.
You can set spending limits on the app, including contactless, but cannot select individual limits.
There is an option to turn off contactless using the Barclays app, website or call or visit a branch.
Later this year, you’re able to set a limit of between £30 and £95 for contactless payments with Halifax debit cards. You can make the request using the app, online or over the phone.
You can also request to turn off contactless using the app, website or by calling their customer services team.
You cannot set limits or turn off contactless with HSBC.
With Lloyds Bank, you can ask for a contactless limit of between £30 to £95 with your debit card via the app, online or if you give them a call. The bank is introducing this later this year.
You can also ask that they turn off contractless altogether.
While Monzo doesn’t have the option to change the contactless limit, they may introduce it. Although, you can set spending limits.
You can turn off contactless from their app.
Nationwide may introduce an option to change the contactless limit, but you can’t currently do it.
You can turn off contactless if you give them a call.
You cannot set a different limit other than the standard £100 with Natwest.
However, you can request to turn off contactless using their app.
There is no option to change the contactless limit.
You can request to turn off contactless off completely using the RBS app.
Santander is looking into giving an option to change the contactless limit in the future.
You can turn off contactless if you give them a call or use the app.
You’re able to adjust the contactless limit from £10 up to £90 per transaction using their app.
Turning off contactless can be done using their app as well.
You can’t set a different limit other than the standard £100 with TSB.
However, you can request to turn off contactless using their app, using the website or giving them a call.
Don’t want a contacless card?
Perhaps you’re thinking: I don’t want a contactless credit card at all – and that’s fine too.
While most banks send out a contactless debit card as standard, many major banks allow you to request not to have one.
Give them a call or drop into a branch to make the request.
Even if you have a contactless card, you don’t need to use it that way.
Instead of tapping the card against the machine when you need to pay, insert the card and use the chip and PIN.
If you are worried about any safety, you could always use an RFID card to block any signals.
The RFID cards fit into your pocket, purse or wallet, don’t need batteries, and still disrupt radio frequency signals to protect your cards from being scanned.
We’ve looked at how to protect your contactless card before (and even tested using tin foil (not as a hat…))!
What if I lose my contactless card or it’s stolen?
It’s a big worry that some chancer will take your card and try to use it themselves, even when there was a £30 limit.
But, losing £30 is nothing like losing £100.
Banks say that your money is protected by fraud in the same way as chip and PIN transactions.
If your card is lost or stolen, call your bank immediately and let them know. They will put a hold on your card to prevent any purchases and send you a new one.
You can also put a freeze on your card from the banking app with many major banks.
For any money that’s been fraudulently taken, your bank should refund you. Use this guide if you’re struggling to get a refund from them.
There is a threshold that stops contactless when the cumulative payments have hit £300 (although you need to have £300 in your bank in the first place)! If a fraudster tries to spend more, they won’t be able to.
In reality, just 2.8% of card fraud is through misuse of contactless cards, and it’s decreased since 2018.
Contactless card limit FAQs
The contactless limit rises to £100 on 15 October 2021.
The contactless limit used to be £30, but it was increased to £45 during the pandemic in April 2020. Increasing the limit allowed people to make transactions easier as fewer people were using cash.
Your debit or credit card will have a small wave symbol printed on the front.
Different limits apply to contactless payments outside the UK. It’s best to check with the retailer when you pay.
If you pay for something over the contactless limit, your card payment won’t be approved, and you’ll need to use the Chip and PIN.
From 15 October 2021, if you make multiple transactions using a contactless card, your card issuer should stop you after you’ve spent £300 and request you to use Chip and PIN.
Card issuing firms and banks must comply with the cumulative transaction value threshold, or the FCA could take enforcement action against them.
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