UK contactless payment limit to be raised to £100

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What you need to know

  • The UK is set to more than double its contactless payment limit to £100.
  • The news means you'll be able to spend up to £100 using an iPhone, even if a business doesn't have Apple Pay support.
  • Businesses that do support Apple Pay will continue to have no limit.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is today expected to announce plans to more than double the UK's contactless spending limit to £100, which is great news for iPhone users.

From the Evening Standard:

Rishi Sunak will more than double the limit shoppers can splash out using contactless cards and phones to £100 today – giving a big boost to retailers as the economy unlocks again.It puts bigger ticket items and little luxuries, from smart shirts to hampers, in range of instant payments that do not even require a signature or even a pin number.

The UK increased the limit on contactless payments slightly from £30 to £45 last year. From our report:

The UK contactless payment limit is being raised to £45 in response to the coronavirus outbreak, meaning you'll be able to buy slightly more with your iPhone in retailers that don't support Apple Pay.

As with the previous raise, the new limit will have no impact on using your iPhone with Apple Pay at any retail which supports the feature, as this will continue to remain limitless. The measure will only apply when using an iPhone (or your Apple Watch) to pay for goods at a retailer or business which offers contactless support, but not official Apple Pay support. As Apple's own website notes, even using Apple Pay, some purchases are limited to £45, so the new limit is likely to apply here too.

Official Apple Pay support in the UK is mostly limited to larger chain retailers and outlets like Boots, M&S, Starbucks, McDonald's, Waitrose, New Look, and of course, Apple itself.

By contrast, nearly every retailer and business in the UK support contactless payments, and Barclaycard data indicates 88.6% of card payments in the UK last year were contactless. The move has almost certainly been made to reflect changes in user spending habits during the pandemic, which saw an increased emphasis on contactless and card payments over the use of cash.

Sunak will deliver the 2021 budget in parliament on Wednesday, March 3.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9