The head of the London Police department is calling for a limit on contactless card payments to prevent an increase in card fraud. According to a report in the Evening Standard, Commissioner Ian Dyson said the maximum amount for contactless payments increased to £20 from £30 approximately two years ago, but shouldn’t be raised any higher over concerns the technology could aid card fraud perpetrators.
“I would advise against increasing it for the moment because the losses could be quite significant,” Dyson said in the report. “At some point, the technology will change and you can raise the limit. The cap is there for sound reasons.”
The report noted an August survey found more than half of the retailers polled wanted the limit on contactless payments raised. According to the findings, the average contactless payment in London is roughly £8 or £9.
“I am not advocating a return to waiting five days for payments to clear, but with that convenience, the public must accept that there is a risk involved,” Dyson added.
Dyson's advice comes at a time when digital payments are taking off around the globe, particularly in the U.K. The U.K. is leading contactless payments adoptions 10 years after the technology first emerged, according to a new report from Visa. The payments processing company’s annual Digital Payments report, released Friday (Sept. 1), found two-thirds of the 2,000 consumers surveyed in the U.K. have used contactless card technology to make a payment since the technology launched in September 2007.
Additionally, more than one-third of U.K. card payments made in June 2017 were contactless, researchers noted. Unsurprisingly, millennial consumers are driving this trend. Visa found three-quarters of shoppers aged 18 to 35 have made a contactless payment, 11 percent more than in 2016. Meanwhile, 55 percent of payment makers over the age of 65 have made a contactless payment, an increase from the 52 percent of this age group that said the same last year.