Limits on contactless payments

(Allie) #1

I use it as my main card, and while I’m sure there is internal risk analysis, as far as I’ve seen and heard there’s no hard maximum on contactless.

This isn’t actually the case. While the UK CVM waiver of £30 obviously applies for domestic transactions, several people have reported using the physical card for over £30 following successful CVM processing - @anon44204028 is one I can name.

Should you use your Monzo card as your main card?
Should you use your Monzo card as your main card?
(Jack Donovan) #2

Contactless payments. £30 limit per transaction


But with some banks cards it IS still possible to do contactless transactions over £30.
The only difference is that above £30 it is contactless PLUS further verification such as PIN or signature.
In my case I have spent £40-50 with contactless and signature just recently with a Starling card.

I have not been able to do so with my latest Monzo current account card, though had succeeded with an old Beta card.

(Jack Donovan) #4

And thank god for that! Because I can tell you for a fact, that a lot of shopkeepers that get you to sign for a transaction, don’t care what signature you write on that receipt.

(Allie) #5

That is not actually true. That’s the CVM waiver liability limit.

(Jack Donovan) #6

Oh my god, search Google for UK contactless payment limit lol

(Jack Donovan) #7

Infact. Yes excellent.

Any transaction can be processed with a pin or signature. So Yeh, you agree :yum:

The system is going. No this is over £30,you must sign or use your PIN. No?


but it is signature without inserting the card and without the chip being read thru contact, purely contactless with addition of signature. Very odd, as personally I think contactless with PIN is a better idea.

(Allie) #9

It’s not actually true, just because it’s been heavily-advertised. The limit is simply a cardholder verification exemption for contactless. Over £30, contactless is possible with normal CVM liability rules (including lost/stolen liability shift if the issuer supports online PIN but the merchant does not).

It depends, but not necessarily, there are exceptions.

Not odd at all, it relates to CVM processing. The card prefers online PIN for contactless, but if the merchant doesn’t support online PIN, the terminal will proceed down the CVM list until a mutually agreeable CVM is found, and if one isn’t, CVM processing will fail.

(Jack Donovan) #10

It makes no difference, surely :S and normally signature is done by swiping your card… But yes, In some circumstances this isn’t the case.

(Allie) #11

I don’t have solid numbers but I believe there are far more signature transactions today that are EMV where signature is selected as the CVM than there are swipe and sign transactions.

Remember, in some countries most or all EMV cards do not have PIN for purchases in their CVM list.

(Jack Donovan) #12

Without pretending we know what we’re talking about, the limit is £30

(Allie) #13

No, it isn’t. End of story. That is a radical over-simplification that has been promoted by banks and news media but simply isn’t true.

(Jack Donovan) #14

Go to a shop, let me know when you complete a contactless payment over £30 without an additional form of verification

(Allie) #15

You’re changing your rules. Read what I said… I said the CVM waiver was £30. By definition, that means over £30 should normally require additional cardholder verification.

CVM waiver is not the same as an absolute contactless limit.

(Jack Donovan) #16

I’m sure that’s the case. But this dude asked what is the limit, do you really think he wanted the complicated Einstein answer? Or that he just wanted to know what he could spend in a shop using contactless


It is just a marketing spin by UK banks at the launch of Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass and nice and simple for tabloids soundbites. In reality it is the CVM liability waiver level for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is not a level for contactless payments.

(Allie) #18

And the answer isn’t simple. It varies greatly. If the shop supports online PIN (or CDCVM if they’re using Google Pay) there’s no reason one wouldn’t be able to spend thousands.

There may even be some rare cases where signature CVM was selected and it was possible on that alone.

(Jack Donovan) #19

But mate,

If you were asked “what’s the limit to use my card by tapping. It on the reader” surely your answer would be… £30

(Allie) #20

Nope, because a higher level transaction could be completed by online PIN, or rarely by signature (though a shop that allowed that would be liable for any fraud as both online and offline PIN support are required to meet the lost/stolen liability shift rules).