Major credit card companies raise tap limit to $250 to help cut spread of COVID-19
TORONTO -- Major credit card companies have increased their tap limit to $250 to help customers who want to make less physical contact while shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mastercard and Visa raised the tap limits from $100 to $250 and the Retail Council of Canada is hoping that Interac will soon follow.
“We are pleased that VISA and Mastercard made the move to $250 pretty quickly and we are hoping that Interac can as well,” Karl Littler, the senior vice president of Public Affairs with the Retail Council, told CTV News Toronto.
While cash may have been king in the past, more stores are hoping you will pay with plastic instead. They also would rather you not insert your card and use the keypad but instead tap to make your purchase.
“There is nothing bad about cash, but in general we would prefer people touch as few surfaces as possible. The optimal system would be the tap system," Littler said.
Toronto resident Brian Graham said he usually pays with cash when shopping.
“I'm an actor which means I’m also a waiter,” Graham said. “So whenever I’m shopping or going to the grocery store or the liquor store I always usually pay with cash.”
But due to the pandemic he has switched to using his debit card and that’s when he found out that his banking plan had limited debit transactions. He is allowed 20 debit transactions a month and had gone over his limit.
“I was going through my bank statement and had a charge of $43.75 which was a $1.25 for every tap I had over the limit,” Graham said.
Graham contacted his bank and they reversed the service charges and put him into a different plan, which now has unlimited taps. He advises people to make sure they’re not paying extra for tapping their purchases.
“You definitely want to check your statements because it is easier to use your debit card and tap to pay, just make sure you’re not getting extra charges," Graham said.
The Retail Council said they don’t feel stores should stop accepting cash, saying there are many people who only use cash, including the "unbanked" who don't have credit or debit cards.
However, moving forward the preferred method of payment is tapping.