Contactless payments in the UK; a history

Date: Friday, September 4, 2015

Contactless payment saves you time when you check out that coffee/bag of shopping/train ticket. But you knew that already, because you've either experienced it, or enviously await the day you actually have a contactless card!

Paying this way means you don't need to put in a PIN or a signature. As a result of this lack of authentication, there's a limit on how much you can pay for at once. I'd like to make a little reference here of the history of contactless roll-out in the UK and the transaction limits that went with it.

2007 - £10


  • The first contactless cards are issued by Barclaycard
  • EAT becomes the first restaurant chain to accept contactless payments

June 2010 - £15


  • McDonalds lead another charge in adoption of the technology. Interestingly, at time of writing in 2015, their limit for transactions is still just £15. Maybe they should call us for help with reprogramming their payment devices?

June 2012 - £20

  • The limit rises to £20 as adoption increases nationally

September 2015 - £30

  • The latest limit increase, to £30, means that the UK's average shopping bill of £25 is now covered.

Which brings us up to the present day. I use my contactless card every day, I just wish ASDA's self checkout would support it! At Village Software, we integrate payment devices from Ingenico and ViVOTech to enable quick and convenient payment. If that's something you'd like to talk about, please get in touch with us; we're

Author: Ste Griffiths