Contactless card PIN limits to increase temporarily to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission


03 April 2020 

Contactless card PIN limits to increase temporarily to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet), the self-regulatory body for the payments industry, confirmed today that the payment industry will be increasing the PIN limit for contactless card payments from $100 to $200 to reduce the need for physical contact with the payment terminal.

From next week, consumers will begin to see an increasing number of retailers accepting contactless card payments without a PIN up to the new $200 limit. Given the sheer numbers of cards, payment terminals and organisations involved, the new limit will be progressively introduced across certain cards and at certain retailers, with major supermarkets expected to be among the first. When paying for purchases, customers should be guided by following the PIN pad prompts.

The new $200 limit is expected to apply for a three-month period and will be extended if required. Similar increases have been implemented or are under consideration in other countries around the world in response to COVID-19.

AusPayNet CEO Andy White said “The increased limit is a pragmatic and important response to a changing environment. Consumers are tending to buy more, less often. The new $200 contactless limit will mean fewer consumers need to touch the payment terminal.”

The Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator the Hon Jane Hume welcomed the move: “I thank AusPayNet, financial institutions, card schemes and retailers for being responsive and stepping up in these extraordinary times”, Assistant Minister Hume said. “Raising the contactless limit is a sensible and practical measure to slow the spread of coronavirus. It will help Australians stay safe and confident when shopping for essentials” she added.

“Contactless transactions are highly secure. However consistent with long standing advice, consumers are encouraged to look after their cards like cash to protect against theft,” Mr White added.

More information on the increased limit is available here.