The contactless card limit is increased to 50 Euro
To limit the spread of the Covid-19 in Latvia by reducing direct human contact, physical contact with the surface of card terminals and thus contact with other people, banks will raise the contactless limit for card payments to 50 Euro from March 26th.
A similar decision to raise the limit was made as of Monday in Estonia and from today—March 25th—in Lithuania. The limit will be raised in the United Kingdom from April 1st this year. Finance Latvia also invites organisations other than the aforementioned banks who provide card services to Latvian retailers to follow the banks’ lead.
Finance Latvia Association predicts that this decision will increase the number of contactless card payments by at least 10 percentage points, allowing contactless payments to be applied to the growing single shopping basket which allows for people to visit the store less often.
The limit will apply until the end of the state of emergency announced by the government. Although the risk of the spread of Covid-19 with electronic payment methods versus cash is low, this solution will further reduce the need to touch the card terminal number pad, which is one of the surfaces most frequently-touched by customers in stores.
Clients can still set their own contactless payment limit for their card. Customers will still need to enter their PIN after a set number of payments or total payment limit.
From January this year, all card terminals or POI in the European Union must have contactless technology.
Cases of fraud using contactless card payments have been very low thus far. If a client is not discovered to have been careless (such as losing their card without notifying the bank for an extended period) or acted against the law, all losses incurred due to fraud are compensated. Contactless, PIN-free payments do not have an unlimited time frame; customers must enter their PIN code after a certain number of purchases. We would like to draw attention to the fact that, for example, on public transport or on the street, other people cannot withdraw cash from a contactless card or mobile device without a PIN code. Payments can only be made using a payment terminal maintained by a financial institution.