Contactless technology now means you can cut down your time at the checkout to a matter of seconds.
While chip and PIN doesn’t exactly take out a large chunk of time from your day, those precious seconds saved mean you can get out and on your way much faster.
But, in order to limit the risk of someone going on a spending spree with your card, you’re only ever able to spend up to £30 with contactless.
So it’s perfect for those little transactions we make every day.
Protection from fraud
Essentially, the main reason for this limit is to lessen the damage someone can make if your card falls into the wrong hands.
Because you don’t need a code to authorise a payment, someone could, in theory, use your card to tap onto a contactless reader and go on a shopping spree.
By having a £30 limit, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to do too much damage to your bank balance.
And, if you make quite a few contactless purchases in one day, the reader might ask you to input your PIN to make sure it’s definitely you spending.
This helps to protect you from losing even more cash if your card is stolen.
Remember, if you do suspect your card is stolen, or if it’s just missing, get in touch with your card provider and ask them to cancel it. They’ll be happy to send you a new one, and it means no one can spend on your card in the meantime.
Some card providers might be happy to refund you contactless purchases if they agree it’s fallen into the wrong hands.
That’s how things work for credit and debit cards, but what about Apple and Android Pay?
Things work a little differently if you’re paying contactless with your smartphone.
If you’re using Apple Pay, you’re generally tied to the £30 limit when you pay using your fingerprint. At the same time, you can only pay up to £30 after unlocking your Android device with Android Pay.
But you may have the option of paying over £30 with both services.
Your Android smartphone allows you to purchase goods up to £100, but they might ask you for your passcode or fingerprint first.
With Apple Pay, it depends on the retailer. More modern payment terminals let you pay over £30, but again you may have to put your passcode in for added security.
Keep a watchful eye on your statement
When you tap your card to pay, it may take a few days before the purchase appears on your bank statement.
This is because the purchases you make are under £30, so they’re treated a little differently to larger buys.
Be sure to keep a mental note of what you’re spending with contactless, as you might not see it on your statement for a couple of days. It’s wise to keep track of what you’re spending anyway, but it’s especially important here so that you don’t spend more than you can afford.