Published On: April 7, 2020

Enforced home isolation and physical distancing is our new reality in Canada. More efforts to help cut the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 are arriving by the day. Health officials, the government, hospitals, businesses, and citizens are all doing their part to preserve the health of Canadians. And now major credit card companies have stepped up as well. As a temporary measure, Visa and Mastercard have increased their contactless payment tap limits from $100 to $250, which will significantly reduce physical contact and improve social distancing at checkout lines.

Public Safety in Focus

If your storefront is still operating, you have likely already introduced some of the recommended safety measures to protect your customers, as well as your employees. Several thoughtful and creative safety measures to combat the coronavirus have emerged in stores across Canada to keep everyone as comfortable and safe as possible. This new credit card tap limit of $250, which was first announced by MasterCard, and followed by Visa, is considerable relief at a time when we are told to avoid contact with surfaces outside of our homes, and urged to wash our hands vigorously. Instead of holding a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal and punching in a PIN, one contactless tap with a credit card can now buy more supplies. This way, it will also be easier to limit shopping trips and help comply with stay-at-home advisements.

Benefits for our Brave Essential Workers

For storefront employees and the employers who care for them, the elimination of such touchpoints is surely welcomed. Not only does this protect them by keeping those terminals that are in close proximity to them cleaner, but it also helps keep everyone two meters away from each other. Additionally, transactions are completed faster, which moves lineups quicker and reduces the number of people waiting in line at one time. Terminals will also be better preserved if they can be sanitized less often. There is no doubt that the reduction of cash handling will also help reduce the spread of this virus. The Retail Council of Canada saluted Visa and Mastercard for increasing their tap limits and is hoping that Interac will soon follow their lead for debit payments.

Contactless Payments in Demand

While there is a lot to be learned about this virus that has so abruptly disrupted our lives, experts are confident that COVID-19 can live with its infectious powers on surfaces from a couple of hours to a couple of days. These findings have logically caused contactless payments to surge in demand . While we have to help those who simply do not have credit or debit cards by accepting their cash, the majority of people are choosing the contactless option, and this method of payment should be highly encouraged. In fact, it should be the default payment method unless the individual can only pay with cash. The decision by Visa and MasterCard to increase tap limits is a tremendous help. We provide merchants processor solutions that can help your business set up contactless payment terminals in your store or on-the-go for safer deliveries, or if you are looking to start accepting payments remotely, we are here to help you. Our team is mobilized to promptly respond to your inquiries upon filling out a simple contact form. Stay safe!

Ozrenka (Olja) Blagojevic Marketing Communications Specialist