€50 contactless card payment limit to remain in place

Bank card with a contactless function
Bank card with a contactless function Source: Andrew Whyte/ERR

The €50 limit on contactless card payments put in place during the coronavirus emergency situation in Estonia will remain in place. The previous limit had been €25.

Banking Association (Pangaliit) adviser Enn Riisalu told ERR Friday that the doubling of the contactless payment limit – ostensibly put in the cut down on contact between shoppers, staff, and card payment terminals as the coronavirus spread – had led to an increase in the proportion of contactless payments from card payments as a whole, from 85 percent to 95 percent.

"As a higher limit enables a larger number of transactions to be performed as a contactless payment, we also expect an increase in the share of contactless payments," he said, adding that the fuller picture of conclusions drawn from raising the limit would be available in the fall.

Riisalu said that the €50 limit is now used in most European countries.

At the same time, while in many European countries, purchases over €50 require entering the PIN number (while still swiping the card as per contactless payments), this system has not reached Estonia yet.

Mobile payments have also grown, before, during and after the pandemic.

Tarmo Ulla of Swedbank told ERR that mobile payment users with his bank had increased tenold in the past year, with over 120,000 active users in April.

Priit Rum of Estonian bank LHV said about 5 percent of the bank's card payments used Apple Pay, an iPhone app. Rum noted that this method was still a relative novelty.

Enn Riisalu of the banking association said that around half of card usage concerns retail payments at the point of sale, about 7 percent involved online card payments, about 14 percent were depositing cash in a cash machine and about 29 percent consisted of cash withdrawals.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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