Mastercard calls for higher contactless limit globally amid coronavirus pandemic

By Aisling Finn on Thursday 9 April 2020

Digital Banking

A higher contactless limit has already been introduced in some places but is yet to reach regions like Asia Pacific and the Caribbean.

Mastercard calls for higher contactless limit globally amid coronavirus pandemic
Image source: Mastercard contactless payment


Global payment provider, Mastercard is today calling for an increased contactless limit, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, in line with other parts of the world, like the UK, that have already done so.

Mastercard has also today increased the limit in New Zealand and Australia to $200, but says that the changes need to be rolled out globally to tackle the transmission of the coronavirus. 

The move comes after the World Health Organisation urged people to use contactless to stop the spread of coronavirus following the revelation that the virus can live on banknotes for several days. 

Mastercard has said that it is “actively consulting with governments and industry partners across the Asia Pacific region to ensure consumers have sufficiently high limits for contactless payments.”

Sandeep Malhotra, executive vice president of products and innovation for Mastercard Asia Pacific, said: “Face-to-face transactions still need to happen, even in times as unusual as now.” 

“Making them as fast and contactless as possible is one way to help people to be more socially responsible, support local businesses and protect everyone in the community when they need it the most,” he added.

As of February 2020, contactless payments made up approximately 50 per cent of Mastercard’s global card-present purchases, excluding the US.

The payment provider acknowledged that some countries in the region, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, have sufficiently high limits and the increase in Australia and New Zealand is due to come into effect today. 

Mastercard is also calling for increases across the Middle East and Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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