Industry moves to increase contactless PIN limits

  • By Christine St Anne

Contactless card PIN limits will increase from $100 to $200 for three months to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

On Friday, the Australian Payments Network  - AusPayNet- confirmed the increased limit and said the timeframe could be extended if needed.

Similar increases have been implemented or are under consideration in other countries around the world in response to COVID-19

“The increased limit is a pragmatic and important response to a changing environment. Consumers are tending to buy more, less often,” AusPayNet CEO Andy White said.

“The new $200 contactless limit will mean fewer consumers need to touch the payment terminal.”

From Monday, retailers will be accepting the new limit increases.

However, given the sheer numbers of cards, payment terminals and organisations involved, the new limit will be progressively introduced across certain cards and at certain retailers, with major supermarkets expected to be among the first.

White said consumers will need to remain vigilant over fraud.

“Contactless transactions are highly secure. However consistent with long standing advice, consumers are encouraged to look after their cards like cash to protect against theft,” White said.

The move by the self-regulatory body for the payments industry received the backing of government.

“I thank AusPayNet, financial institutions, card schemes and retailers for being responsive and stepping up in these extraordinary times”, The Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume said.

Contactless payments limit in Australia will now increase from $100 to $200 for Mastercard uses, enabling more transactions to take place without the need to touch a PIN pad. 

In seperate news, Mastercard announced that it would apply the increased limit to its cards.