In several European countries, such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, consumers are (soon) less likely to need their PIN code if they pay contactless in shops. By raising the amount for which PIN confirmation is needed, the risk of contamination is reduced.
In the Netherlands, consumers only have to enter their PIN code for payments over 50 euros. If they make several contactless payments in a row, they only have to enter their PIN when they reach the accumulated 100 euro mark. This measure has been taken by the Dutch banks, with immediate effect. The Dutch trade associations call on consumers to pay contactless as much as possible, hoping to further limit the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus.
In the United Kingdom, a similar measure will be introduced from 1 April: customers will then be able to use their bank card to make payments of up to 45 pounds without having to enter a PIN code. However, retailers indicate that it may take a little longer before the system is adapted in all shops.
British consumers can already pay higher amounts contactless using their smartphone: they only have to enter their PIN in their smartphone and do not have to touch the payment terminal as such. For those who use Apple Pay, there even is no limit any more, the trade association British Retail Consortium points out. However, some retailers do set a limit for mobile payments.
Exceptionally fast rollout
In Ireland, the limit increases to 50 euros per contactless payment on 1 April. In Belgium, the banks are still working on the issue, while France flatly refuses to raise the limit.
The speed with which the measure is introduced is exceptional, as the British example shows: the last limit increase, then to 30 pounds, took two years to implement - now it is happening in a week, Andrew Cregan of British Retail Consortium stresses.