Mastercard increases contact payment limits

Cardholders can avoid touching PIN pads and tap to pay on purchases up to $250
Mastercard is enabling higher contactless payments in Canada to give consumers a safer no-touch way to pay. (CNW Group/Mastercard)

With shoppers still pantry loading amid COVID-19 fears, and some businesses limiting or rejecting cash to mitigate the spread of the virus, Mastercard Canada is increasing the limit on contactless pay.

The credit card company says it's currently working with retail partners to make it easier to accept contactless payment up to $250. Contactless payment allows customers to tap their card without entering a PIN or signing a receipt.

"With safety and social distancing top of mind for all Canadians, today's announcement is one way we're helping cardholders to shop easily, securely and with more peace of mind during this difficult time," said Mastercard Canada president Sasha Krstic, in a press release.

Some retailers stopped accepting cash last month to limit the exposure and transmission of COVID-19. In response, Bank of Canada released a statement urging retailers to reverse this decision to ensure all Canadians have access to the goods and services they need.

"The risks posed from handling Canadian bank notes are no greater than those posed by touching other common surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen counters and handrails," Bank of Canada said. "Canadians handling cash should follow the public health guidelines on COVID-19 and wash their hands as they would do for other activities."

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