Increasing the PIN limit for contactless payments

9 Apr 2020

New Zealand’s payments industry will progressively roll out an increased temporary PIN limit of $200 for contactless card payments over the coming days and weeks. This increase is up from the current $80 limit for contactless cards.

The change will reduce the need for customers to touch PIN pads in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary increase was introduced on 9 April and is expected to be rolled out across cardholders and retailers over the coming weeks. It could take a few weeks for the roll out to be completed due to the number of cards, payment terminals and businesses involved.

In raising the limit, New Zealand joins other countries around the world including Australia, that are adopting measures to help restrict the spread of COVID-19.


For cardholders

What’s happening and what does this mean for me?
The PIN limit for contactless payments will temporarily increase from $80 to $200, meaning cardholders won’t have to enter a PIN number on the PIN pad unless they spend over $200. This change will roll out progressively across Kiwi retailers and cards over the next few weeks.

I have a contactless card. Do I need to do anything?
No, you don’t need to do anything. Customers should continue to follow the PIN pad prompts when paying in-store and if the limit has been raised on that payment terminal, it will take effect automatically without needing to do anything else.

For contactless payments over $200, the terminal will still ask for a PIN number so just follow the prompts. If you have any more specific questions, we recommend you contact your bank or card provider or visit their website.

Are all banks applying this to their contactless credit and debit cards?
Not all New Zealand banks are able to apply this limit increase on existing cards right away due to technology constraints, this includes ASB and TSB Bank. However, all new contactless cards issued by TSB and ASB from 9 April will have the new temporary $200 PIN limit applied. ASB customers with ASB Mobile Pays – Apple, Google, Garmin and FitBit Pay will be able to use their device to access the $200 contactless limit from the time the industry rolls it out.

I don’t have a contactless card but would now like one. What do I need to do?
Contact your bank or card provider and they can help set one up for you.

I pay using my mobile phone. Does this limit increase apply to me?
Yes, the new $200 PIN limit will automatically be applied to payments made in store using your mobile phone with Google Pay or Apple Pay. You will not have to make any changes to the existing card details on your phone.

You may have noticed that some terminals already don’t ask for a PIN. This is because some terminals are set up to know your mobile has identified you using your fingerprint or face ID, and don’t then require a PIN for any limit. That will continue at those terminals.

What about safety and security?
Banks and card providers will continue to monitor transaction accounts and alert customers to any unusual activity. If you have any concerns about unauthorised transactions on your account, please contact them. We also advise all customers to treat their contactless cards like they would cash and take the necessary precautions to keep them safe. While contactless cards are a secure way to pay, if lost or stolen, they should be reported immediately to your bank or card provider.

For retailers and other payment providers

I am a retailer with a terminal that accepts contactless cards. Do I need to do anything?
As a retailer with a contactless enabled terminal you will not have to do anything additional as this change will be rolled out automatically over the coming days and weeks. The limit increase will be applied to your terminal when it logs on. The only difference you will notice when that happens is most contactless transactions for $200 or less will not require your customer to enter a PIN.

There are some cards that will require updating first, but banks or card providers will apply that change and be in touch with those customers to let them know.

Customers who have any further questions about this increase should contact their bank or card provider to find out more.

I am a retailer who would now like to enable contactless card acceptance on my terminal. What do I need to do?
To enable your terminal to accept contactless card payments, you should contact your bank who will be able to help you set it up.

Timeframe for the limit

How long will this temporary $200 limit be in place?
The payments industry has temporarily increased the limit during the COVID-19 health crisis as it has been identified as a way of reducing physical contact with a payment terminal. The limit will remain in place for as long as necessary in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic.