Contactless bank card payments over €50 authorised in France

You will still need to enter a PIN for transactions over this amount

A view of someone using contactless payment on a card machine in Normandy, France
Payments over €50 can now be made by contactless in France, but you will still need a PIN

You can use your bank card to make contactless payments for amounts of more than €50 in France, after an update to regulations on June 27. However, you will still have to enter a PIN for payments over this amount.

Cardholders were previously required to insert their card and use their PIN for any purchases over €50.

This limit was removed for contactless payments from June 27 - although people will still need to enter their PIN to authorise the transaction for payments above €50, through the new system dubbed ‘Sans Contact Plus’.

Contactless payments under €50 will still not need a PIN.

People with contactless cards will not need to do anything to access this new system; it will be rolled out via the payment terminals used by merchants. The electronic update to these terminals should be complete within several days.

"Sans Contact Plus allows us to roll out contactless payments whatever the amount,” said the Sans Contact Plus group. “The payment is therefore faster, with a quicker visit to the till that is still just as secure.”

If you do not want your bank card to allow contactless payments, contact your bank. Banks are obliged to give you the option of deactivating contactless payments. This option is usually available in online banking spaces.

Read also: Apple launches ‘Tap to Pay’ in France allowing payment between iPhones 

Pandemic payments

Banque de France figures show that in 2022, contactless card payments made up 60% of card purchases nationwide, up six percentage points compared to the previous year. The average transaction amount for contactless payments was €16.

Another study found that contactless card usage was even higher, with 86% of people using this form of payment in 2022, up seven percentage points in comparison to 2021.

The use of contactless cards increased during the pandemic, when the use of cash was banned in many places as a way to reduce contact between people.

“The health crisis has changed people's behaviour, and the speed of use and practicality of contactless payment seems to have won unanimous approval among people in France,” said the French Banking Federation in May 2020.

Contactless payments were first launched in France in 2012, for payments of less than €20. The cap was first increased in 2017 to €30, and then to €50.

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