Rishi Sunak to increase contactless payment limit to £100 from £45 in today's Budget

THE contactless payment limit is set to rise from £45 to £100 in today's Budget by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The contactless limit was increased from £30 to £45 at the start of last year as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across the UK.

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However, the limit will now be increased again to boost retailers following lockdown, reports the Evening Standard.

Experts at the Treasury reportedly believe easier transactions will help the struggling sector when it is allowed to open again.

Non-essential retail is set to reopen from April 12, along with pubs and restaurants which can offer outside table service and takeaways pints.

It comes after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was considering raising the limit from £45 to £100 last month.

Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.

Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the "four steps to freedom" are met. Here's what we know so far:

April 12

  • Retail
  • Hospitality outdoors
  • Hairdressers
  • Zoos
  • Self-catered staycations with one household

May 17

  • Indoor hospitality
  • Indoor exercise gyms
  • Bingo halls
  • Cinemas
  • Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
  • Saunas
  • Spas

June 21

  • Nightclubs

The World Health Organisation last year suggested ditching cash for contactless payments to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Shops have encouraged customers to pay with a contactless card throughout the pandemic.

This reduces the risk of spreading the virus by minimising physical contact at the till.

Rather than handing over cash, shoppers can simply tap their card or smartphone on a reader to make a payment.

Contactless payments also mean shoppers avoid having to touch the card reader and it minimises queuing time to help with social distancing.

Cash use has plummeted as people turn to paying in this covid-secure way.

Contactless payments were first introduced in 2007 and at the time shoppers were allowed to spend £10 in one transaction.

In September 2015, the limit then increased to £30.

Supermarkets are among many shops which have urged people to pay with cards rather than cash during the pandemic.

However, a glitch last month meant Morrisons shoppers couldn't use their contactless cards.

Meanwhile, PayPal has launched a new phone-to-phone contactless payment app to help people go cash free during the pandemic.

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