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Contactless Limits Around the World

As the contactless limit has been increased from £45 to £100, we’ve taken a look at what other contactless limits are around the world.

The UK’s contactless limit is now £100, after rising from the £45 limit on October 15th, enabling consumers to make larger purchases without the need for chip and PIN. The majority of bank accounts around the world now come with contactless technology, with 88% of debit cards and 81% of credit cards in the UK containing contactless functionality.1

The new contactless limit is more than double the previous maximum payment of £45 introduced in April 2020. Other countries around the world have also recently increased their contactless card limit, so we have created the below infographic to show how contactless limits differ around the world.

Infographic with Contactless Limits Around the World

The UK has the highest contactless limit in Europe

The infographic reveals that the UK now has the highest contactless card limit across Europe. The £100 UK limit is over double the €50 (£42) of that across the eurozone countries such as Spain, Germany and Portugal.

Switzerland has the next highest limit in Europe after the UK with a contactless limit of 80 Swiss Francs (£63). Sweden has a contactless limit of £34, while their Scandinavian neighbours Norway have a limit similar to the rest of Europe of £43.

Poland has the lowest contactless limit in Europe at just £18 while North Macedonia are just above at £27.

Canada tops the contactless limit around the world

Canada just edges the USA to the top spot with a contactless limit of 250 CAD which is just below £150. While the United States have a limit of 200 USD (£146).

Asian countries of Japan, China and Singapore all have contactless limits above £105, while Australia and New Zealand sit just above the UK’s contactless card limit of £100.

Canada250 CAD£146.93
USA200 USD£145.62
Japan20,000 Japanese Yen£127.35
China1000 Chinese Yuan£113.14
Singapore200 Singapore Dollars£107.85
Australia200 AUD£107.64
New Zealand200 NZD£102.81
UK£100£100
United Arab Emirates500 AED£99.05
Bahrain50 BHD£96.74

Iran’s contactless limit of less than £4 is the lowest around the world

On the other end of the spectrum, Iran has the lowest contactless limit around the world, with the country’s 200,000 Iranian Rial limit converting to just £3.43. Chile has the lowest South American limit of £12, while Brazil’s is similar to the African nations Kenya and Uganda who have a limit below £30.

Iran200000 IRR£3.43
Chile12000 CLP£12
Poland100 PLN£18.45
Turkey250 TRY£19.59
Kenya3500 KES£22.97
South Africa500 ZAR£23
Brazil200 BR£26.43
Uganda135000 UGX£27.17
North Macedonia2000 MKD£27.40
Egypt600 EGP£27.81

The contactless limit varies across other major countries as well, with Russia having a contactless limit of 5000 Russian roubles (£51) while India is just below with a limit of 5000 Indian rupees (£48).

Richard Lynch, Managing Director of Suits Me said: “The UK was an early adopter of contactless payment technology, introducing the first contactless-enabled cards in 2007. Since then, the technology has come a long way and our research shows that the UK is leading in Europe with its new £100 contactless payment limit.”

“But we’re far from the biggest contactless spenders – across the Atlantic, the US and Canada both have contactless limits that convert to more than £145, and in Japan, consumers can spend up to £127 by simply tapping their card against a reader.”

Methodology and Sources 

  1. https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/SUMMARY-UK-Payment-Markets-2021-FINAL.pdf

The contactless credit limits around the world data collected from the following sources:

Figures converted to GBP using the exchange rate on October 18th 2021.

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