Visa and MasterCard have confirmed that some retailers in the UK will waive the £20 contactless limit when users pay with Apple Pay via their iPhone.
The new service, coming to the UK and supported by most of the major UK banks (apart from Barclays), will be available at over 250,000 locations in places like Wagamama, Tesco, Boots, and Transport for London when it rolls out in July.
Customers who opt to pay for things with existing contactless cards are currently limited to £20 as banks and stores are still worried about the dangers of fraud.
While that won't immediately change for all retailers when Apple Pay via the iPhone launches in the UK, it will over time, explains Jeremy Nicholds Executive Director of Mobile at Visa to Pocket-lint:
"While there will be some retailers who will keep the £20 limit initially at launch (the limit is soon to rise to £30 in the autumn), not all retailers will have the limit at launch - and there will be others who will choose to get rid of it all together in time."
As is the case with Apple Pay in the US, Apple has convinced retailers and banks to remove the limit because they can prove the customer is present thanks to the use of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the iPhone.
MasterCard have confirmed similar options for Apple Pay retailers in the UK too:
"Currently the vast majority of payment terminals here in the UK are set to accept contactless transactions up to the £20 spending limit, but that will rise to £30 in September (for cards as well)," a spokesman for MasterCard told Pocket-lint when we asked about clarification on the limit thresholds.
"As more digital services like Apple Pay come to market, we're [MasterCard] supporting retailers and banks as they update the terminals so that they can accept authenticated transactions above that limit from digital devices."
The move will mean that retailers who actively upgrade their current terminals will be able to remove the limit for customers, but those that don't won't.
"Retailers who wish to accept unlimited contactless transactions from digital devices, should of course get the latest terminal software," adds MasterCard. "The majority of British merchants who currently accept contactless are running systems based on the £20 limit, so they will need to update their terminals if they wish to accept authenticated contactless transactions at a higher value."
It will then be up to individual retailers to educate its customers as to whether there is a limit in place in the store or not.
Boots in the UK has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it will go "limitless" in November in its UK stores.
Sadly how fast that roll out will be is hard to measure as it will come down to how quickly retailers opt to upgrade their equipment.
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