What is at risk if my card is stolen?
While many applaud the added convenience of increasing the contactless limit, some people report nervousness about the increase (see Martin’s Twitter poll responses on the change below) because they are concerned they will be exposed to theft.
Currently, regulations say providers prevent contactless payments if you try to spend over the contactless limit, if you’ve made more than five contactless transactions in a row with the same card, or if you verify the total amount you’ve spent since the last check a transaction had to be in excess of £ 130 (this will change to £ 300 as of October 15th). However, payment providers have the option to set tighter limits than the FCA’s maximum.
So if you are concerned about fraud and what could happen if someone steals your contactless card, then you should think about your contactless limit as if you had cash on you. Think about how much cash you want to carry around with you at one time and set that as your contactless limit if your provider allows it.
If your card is stolen, you should of course block it as soon as possible and notify your provider. You should also check your statement for any suspicious transactions.
However, in response to concerns that increasing the contactless limit could lead to increased fraud levels, the Treasury Department said there was no significant increase in reported fraud when the limit was raised from £ 30 to £ 45 last year. It added that reported fraud represented 0.02% of total contactless card spending as of April 2020.