Limit on contactless payments increases
Tomorrow will see the limit on contactless payments increase from £15 to £20, bringing the UK in line with the 25 euro limit in the eurozone.
The technology is growing in popularity in the UK as more retailers provide contactless payment terminals in their stores.
Fifty-five UK retailers now accept contactless payments, including McDonalds, Greggs, Boots and Spar.
The system helps retailers reduce queuing times and allows customers to pay for their goods without having to enter a pin.
A debit or credit card can simply be swiped across a terminal, making it quick and easy to make low-value purchases.
The cards can also be used at some vending machines and at events such as music festivals.
Mobile phones equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology can also be used to make contactless payments.
However Barclaycard has made it possible for any mobile phone to be used to make contactless payments, with its PayTag service.
PayTag is a small adhesive Visa card which can be attached to the back of a handset.
Orange has gone one step further with its Quick Tap system which allows customers to make contactless payments with a Quick Tap enabled Samsung Tocco Lite phone.
According to Gartner, a US-based information technology research and advisory firm, worldwide mobile payment transactions will increase to $171.5 billion this year, from $105.9 billon last year.
The Post Office revealed today that it is planning to install contactless payment terminals at 200 branches around the London 2012 Olympics sites from 6 June.
It will then roll-out the technology across its network of 30,000 counters by November.
The terminals will accept payments with Mastercard PayPass and Visa payWave cards.
Lesley Sewell, chief information officer at the Post Office, said: “Contactless will bring huge benefits to our customers by increasing choice and reducing transaction times.”