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(Pocket-lint) - The spending limit for contactless payments in the UK is now set at £100.

You will be able to spend up to that amount when using contactless payment systems in supporting stores.

The previous limit was £45, so this represents a steep rise.

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak originally announced the plans as part of the March 2021 budget: "As we begin to open the UK economy and people return to the high street, the contactless limit increase will make it easier than ever before for people to pay for their shopping, providing a welcome boost to retail that will protect jobs and drive growth," he said.

However, critics fear it could lead to a rise in theft. One bank boss even questioned whether shoppers want the new limit.

"Analysing our spending data we can see that there appears to be little demand for the increased contactless limit and that many would like to retain the same contactless limit or even reduce it," said the chief executive of Starling Bank, Anne Boden (as reported by the BBC).

Some shops will not yet be ready to receive £100 contactless payments, as their systems have to be updated first. Stores can also use their own discretion to impose smaller limits.

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A previous raise in contactless limits was enforced in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. That allowed shoppers to spend up to £45 (from a former limit of £30) to encourage the use of contactless cards and reduce the risk of contact transmission of the virus.

Some methods of payment, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay on mobile devices and smartwatches, have no limits when protected through biometric security technologies.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 24 March 2020.