Retailers Against Crime Scotland has warned shoppers to be extra vigilant of pickpockets after the contactless card limit increased to £100 on Friday (15).
Customers can now spend more than double what they could previously without entering their four-digit pin after an increase in their popularity saw the maximum spend rise from £45.
But the move – aimed at making purchases more convenient – has sparked fears around an increased risk of crime, reports said.
Maxine Fraser, managing director of Retailers Against Crime Scotland, said she was “surprised” at the steep increase and warned consumers to be extra vigilant and speak to their banks about what protections they could be offered.
“I understood when they raised the amount previously due to Covid-19. But I was surprised to hear of the contactless limit being increased to £100.
“It may well encourage more bag and wallet thefts and we would warn the general public to be aware of that and make sure they’re looking after their personal belongings.
Contactless transactions accounted for 60 per cent or 6.6 billion payments, of card transactions in the UK between January and July, according to trade association UK finance.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the rules have been changed to help the industry continue “to respond to the changing ways in which people prefer to pay”.
But Age UK has also warned that raising the limit could increase the potential for fraud, putting some older people off using bank cards to pay for goods and services.
Individual banks are already offering customers options on how to override the rise and money expert Martin Lewis said there should be an instant fix for customers to set limits through online banking and apps from the moment the rise came in yesterday.