The £30 limit for individual payments on contactless cards will rise to £45 from next Wednesday, April 1 2020, UK Finance has announced.

Isles MP Angus MacNeil said: "This is a change worth highlighting. I had a constituent come to me this week advocating that such a change should happen. It is good news that this will be happening, particularly in these times as contactless payment is preferable. It has come at an opportune moment and will hopefully help lessen virus vectors."

The spending limit is being raised following consultation between the retail sector and the finance and payments industry and follows similar increases in several other European countries.

Under current rules, contactless cards can only be used for payments up to £30; consumers need to use pin entry or contactless payment options available on smartphones for higher totals, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

While the contactless card changes were already under consideration by the industry, the process has been expedited as part of the industry’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, with many retailers requiring the sole use of contactless payment in order to minimise the risk of spreading infection through the exchange and handling of cash.

From April 1 2020, consumers will begin to see an increasing number of retailers accepting contactless card payments up to the new £45 limit.  However, the new limits will take some time to be introduced across all retailers, including some of those facing additional pressure due to the Covid-19 outbreak.