Limits on contactless payments

(Jack Donovan) #21

Why the hell are you talking about online?!

I stand by what I said.

Go to a shop tomorrow, spend more than £30 without an additional form of verification, then come back to me :kissing_heart:

(Allie) #22

Because most British shops only support offline PIN verification, which only works for contact transactions. To support contactless+PIN they have to support online PIN.

But that’s not what you said! We’re agreeing on that. You said £30 was the limit for contactless. It’s not. It’s the limit for contactless without CVM (cardholder verification method… literally the additional verification you’re referring to).


My answer would be that in many places it is £30 without needing a PIN or signature, but in some places you can just touch your card and still pay for things like fuel over £30 but with the addition of a PIN or signature. And when abroad the £30 limit does not apply, but a national limit for that country, except Iceland where there are two different limits depending on the bank provisioning the merchant services.

(Jack Donovan) #24

In leymans terms, it’s the limit. That’s all the lad wanted to know. He didn’t want to know any of this technical rubbish did he :joy:

(Allie) #25

But… it isn’t the limit. If a mutually agreeable CVM can be successfully completed, then no £30 limit applies.

I will be fair and say that few shops would allow signature as they’d be liable for fraud, and few shops in Britain support online PIN so in practice, it will be the limit most (but not all) of the time.

However, I expect online PIN support to become more widespread in the future.

(Jack Donovan) #26

:man_facepalming: I give up

Wait I don’t. I’m going to do an experiment

(Allie) #27

I suggest you read the EMV documentation when you have a bit of spare time.

If you’re going to do an experiment, I suggest you do it at Marks & Spencer. I haven’t tried it myself, but I think you’ll find it’s one of the few places you won’t hit a £30 limit :slight_smile:

Do you actually think front line COps will want to confuse people by saying anything other than sticking to the ‘it’s £30’ line? That’s what will work everywhere so is often stuck to to simplify things.

For that matter, if I was a COp, my response would be £30. There isn’t time to explain the nuances of ‘it varies, but it should be at least £30’ in a quick chat!


well that is a good experiment to check COps response times!

(Jack Donovan) #29

Wrong (taken from the M&S website)

(Jack Donovan) #30

Do you really think this person needed the complicated answer that you gave?

(Allie) #31

Yes, because they asked for the limit in a forum where there’s time to explain that there’s more nuance to it. £30 makes a great marketing headline because it will work everywhere, all the time. Anything over that requires cardholder verification to complete, and the odds of this happening successfully in the UK for anything other than mobile wallets are pretty slim.

Like I said, go to Marks & Spencer. I haven’t tried it myself, but I do believe you’ll find you’ll be able to tap and enter your PIN for whatever amount you like :slight_smile: Of course, that’s the only shop in the UK I can name where I expect this to work, though there’s surely a handful of others.

(Jack Donovan) #32

Are you serious? Exactly. Enter your pin

(Allie) #33

Correct. As I said, over £30 requires cardholder verification. It’s still contactless though, since it’s online PIN. Only offline PIN requires you to insert the card.

Maybe I should clarify something:

Online PIN - the PIN gets checked by the card issuer. Can work with contact or contactless. Support in the UK is extremely rare.

Offline PIN - the PIN gets checked by the card. Only works with contact (insert). Widely supported in the UK (basically everywhere).

(Jack Donovan) #34

Right. You have completely missed my point, and the OPs point

When people ask for the contactless limit, they are asking “how much can I spend without putting in my pin”

(Allie) #35

Really? Because I’d expect they mean the amount they can spend without inserting their card… If a shop supports online PIN (which lets them check the PIN without having you insert the card), that amount is essentially unlimited.

(Jack Donovan) #36

They don’t mean that. 100%

We have been able to buy stuff online over £30 for many many years

(Allie) #37

Online PIN has nothing to do with buying online. It means the card issuer checks the PIN instead of the card itself. It allows PIN to be checked for contactless transactions.


No. For me the contactless limit means “how much can I spend without inserting my card”

(Jack Donovan) #39


And you are two people that would fit in to a blue or red learning spectrum.

Most people are not

(I am not removing this, it’s been reported multiple times which is a joke. Being a red or blue learner is something to be proud of. I’m a yellow and I wish I wasn’t)

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #40

I don’t know what that means. But I’m with them. Contactless means the card doesn’t have to touch the reader to me.