In an effort to make it easier for people to maintain social distancing, the French Bank Federation (FBF) agreed to raise the limit to €50, with the new rule taking effect on Monday, may 11th, the day France began to lift its lockdown.
The goal of the measure is to make it easier for people to pay without touching the card machine even when purchasing larger quantities.
The World Health Organisation has advised people to use contactless payment instead of banknotes or coins, to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
France was already working on increasing the contactless payment limit to €50 by 2021, but has hurried the process in light of the coronavirus crisis.
“There won't be a 'big bang' on Monday May 11th,” said Loys Moulin
, Director of development at the French bank card group Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB.
The transition would be “very complex,” Moulin said, as “all of France's 70 million bank cards are concerned.”
When France increased its contactless payment limit from €20 to €30 in 2017, a lot of people had problems with their cards not being compatible with the new measures. According to CNEWS
, it took three years to ensure that all cards authorised the new rule.
If you are having trouble paying by contactless for purchases above €30, you should contact your bank. In the “vast majorities of cases” there is no need to exchange the bankcard, according to Moulin.