Hoping to drive up transaction volume, Barclays Group PLC is raising the transaction size limit for consumer contactless payment cards in the U.K. The banking company said this week that U.K. consumers can now make contactless payments of up to $22.50 without entering a PIN. The previous limit was $15.
Barclays said the move was a response to consumer and retailer demand.
Barclays introduced the first contactless payment card in the U.K. in 2007. Since then it has issued more than 2 million contactless debit cards and 4 million contactless credit cards. Barclays said that more than 20,000 contactless payment terminals have been deployed by U.K. merchants.
The U.K. has implemented the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications, which require people to enter a PIN to authorize card purchases. With contactless cards, people can make low-value purchases without a PIN.
Nick Holland, senior analyst at the Boston market research company Aite Group LLC, said Barclays' decision is "a smart idea because it allows consumers to make larger purchases using speed and convenience." Holland said other issuers will likely follow suit.
Not only does the higher limit give consumers more flexibility for purchases, it also "will lead to more retailers implementing the technology," Brian Cunnington, Barclays' head of debit cards, said in a press release.