Au revoir to the PIN

Last updated: 01 September 2016

Au revoir to spending limits

If you’re French, chances are at some point you’ve wanted to make a large payment on your mobile, but then realized you have to enter a PIN if the transaction is worth over €20, as specified some years ago by the AEPM and CB. “That could’ve been so much quicker” you’ll have thought to yourself, as you trudge away from the supermarket with your shopping bags. Now, though, the French can finally sing “Non, je ne regrette rien” about their shopping experiences, and it’s all thanks to Apple Pay, which has launched in the country and increased the PIN-free spending limit to €300. Apple Pay is now more natural, easier and faster, thanks to the introduction of Touch ID. While a POS upgrade is required to support the change, we expect millions of French consumers to benefit.

La République is the eighth country to host Apple Pay, following successful launches in the US, UK, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Singapore. Leading MNO, Orange, has announced that they’ll be supporting Apple Pay, which means the conditions are there for an NFC payment revolution and a Louis XVI-style demise for cash. Vive la Revolution, we say.

Previously, France and the UK were among few countries with mPayment PIN-free spending limits, which were €20 and £30 respectively before Apple Pay’s launch in the former. As more people recognize the advantages of mPayments, which enable easy and seamless transactions, the French and British authorities are clearly seeing these constraints as inadequate. In addition, concerns over mPayment security are dissipating, as more people realize that myths over mobile NFC safety aren’t rooted in reality.

While the limit still stands in Britain, the recent decision to increase it from £20 to £30 drove a huge expansion in mPayment activity. The change, implemented in September 2015, caused contactless payments to soar in popularity among Britons. UK pubs and bars saw contactless payments nearly double in frequency, amounting to a 92% increase, while supermarkets also witnessed a boom in activity, with 62% more touch and go transactions.

The signs are promising for France and Apple Pay – the removal of the upper limit is bound to fuel a similar surge in activity. With France having abolished its contactless spending limit, we think it’s only a matter of time before the UK makes a similar move.

If you’re in France or the UK, share your thoughts with us on contactless payment spending limits and the future of NFC payment technology. Tweet to us at @GemaltoMobile or post a comment below.

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