Card payment giants MasterCard and Visa have raised their contactless payment limits in Canada as the country moves away from cash to limit physical contact in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Both companies have increased their limits by $150 to $200 (all in Canadian Dollars).
Contactless payment allows shoppers to tap their credit or debit cards against a point of sale (POS) device to make payments. The process doesn’t require entering a PIN code or providing a signature.
MasterCard was the first to publicly announce the same on April 2, with the payment card’s president in Canada, Sasha Krstic, terming the move one that will significantly help the country in the fight against the coronavirus.
“Safety and social distancing are currently top of the mind for all Canadians,” he said. “Today’s announcement is one of the ways we’re helping cardholders shop easily, safely, and with greater peace of mind during this difficult time.”
The limit increase became effective immediately after the announcement. However, individual partners, such as banks and payment processors, were allowed to time to adopt the new limits at their own pace.
“The timing will vary depending on individual adoption,” MasterCard spokeswoman, Sandra Benjamin, said when asked when the new limit would be available to the end consumer.
Meanwhile, Visa made the announcement a little later, on April 7, stating that it “supports an increase in the card verification method limit” that allows shoppers to tap their cards against a POS system to pay for products.
“Visa Canada is committed to an increase in contactless payments,” said Country Manager and President, Stacey Madge. “This change should help consumers and essential businesses conduct more transactions, but in a safer, more convenient environment.”
Shoppers to Benefit Immensely
In the weeks leading to the announcements, the number of retailers and businesses no longer accepting cash was on the rise. Many merchants were only accepting contactless payments to limit exposure to the deadly virus, with strong backing from the Bank of Canada.
The limit increase should ease the stalemate and help shoppers get the essential products they need without putting their health and the health of loved ones at risk.
AUTHOR BIO: Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the working of best merchant accounts. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.