As of this week, contactless cards in the UK can now used to pay for items of up to £30 and this is important as this medium of paying is becoming increasingly popular in this country with £2.5bn spent using contactless in total this year and in 2014 it was £2.32bn, so it has gown very quickly. Also it works with a wide array of devices such as credit and debit cards and now with Apple Pay, your smartphone or wearable. This change is important because previously the limit was £20 and when it was originally introduced back in 2007, the limit was only £10.

“The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards, and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way.”

Said chief executive of the UK Cards Association, Graham Peacop

How does it work?

If you haven’t used it before or are unsure how it works contactless cards are becoming very ubiquitous now and in most shops it’s very likely that you’ve seen the little symbol. This means that your card can be used to pay for items without the need for chip and pin. Simply tap the card on the terminal for it to register, then you have paid. This new limit will roll out now and may take a while as it is being activated as part of a software update.

Is it safe?

The consumer group, Which? looked at the fraud data in July this year and have said that contactless cards can be easily stolen and used. But the managing director for Visa Europe has said that using contactless cards is the “new normal” and that there is a huge amount of growth.

“We’ve seen unprecedented growth in this area, with the number of Visa contactless transactions more than trebling in the past year in the UK.”

Also using Apple Pay is the safest way to pay right now as it uses a one time code as opposed to normal payment methods, also it uses Touch ID to authenticate it.

Where can I use it?

Most shops now from Costa, Tesco, M&S, Boots and more accept with more being added everyday thanks to the adoption of Apple Pay.

Apple Pay?

So Apple Pay is a bit confusing, currently it will only let you spend up to the countless card limit of £30 or £20 in stores which havent updated their terminals to fully accept Apple Pay. In official Apple Pay stores such as the Apple Store and Costa – the limit (should) be the same as using chip and pin.

Learn more about Apple Pay