Changes to contactless PIN limit

First published on 3 April 2020, this post was last updated on 17 September 2021.

What is happening?

The payments industry has temporarily increased the contactless card PIN limit from $100 to $200 to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by reducing physical contact with the payment terminal.

The new $200 limit has been progressively introduced across certain cards and at certain retailers since April 2020.

Why has the limit been increased?

The increase in the contactless limit is consistent with similar increases implemented or under consideration in other countries in response to COVID-19.

The higher limit of $200 means that fewer people will need to touch the payment terminal when paying for purchases between $100 and $200.

How do I know when I can use the new $200 limit?

Cardholders will know whether they can use the new temporary limit by following the PIN pad prompts. The new limit is available on certain cards and at certain retailers.

If the new limit has been introduced on your card and at the retailer, you won’t need to enter your PIN for contactless purchases up to $200.

At all times, follow the PIN pad prompts.

Is the increase to the contactless limit likely to become permanent?

The new $200 limit is a temporary measure in response to COVID-19. It initially applied for a three-month period, to be reviewed based on Government advice.

On 2 September 2021, the Government announced that the COVID-19 Biosecurity Emergency Declaration is set to be extended for an additional three months. In line with the Government’s decision, the industry has extended the temporary $200 limit until 17 December 2021.

We will continue to review and make decisions, pending Government advice.

What about security?

Financial institutions will continue to monitor your account through their predictive fraud systems and alert you to any unusual activity. It is vital that you continue to keep your card safe at all times to protect against theft and check your account often. If you lose your card or have any concerns about unauthorised transactions on your account, please contact your financial institution immediately.

Does this apply to mobile payments and other wearables?

Customers can continue to use mobile payments and other devices such as watches when purchasing essential goods. These forms of payment are another highly secure alternative.

As a merchant, what do I need to do?

The roll out to payment terminals is progressive and your acquirer will let you know when this becomes available. At all times, follow the PIN pad prompts and encourage customers to do the same.

For further information, please contact your financial institution.

See Media Release here.