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From temporary to permanent measure. After all contactless payments up to 50 euros are here to stay

In March, and due to the initial context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the contactless payment limit went from 20 to 50 euros. Initially the measure was temporary, but, given the growth in the use of technology, this form of payment is here to stay.

The announcement comes from Banco de Portugal, in a decision by the Portuguese banking community, in conjunction with the Bank and SIBS. In this way, consumers will be able to continue using contactless technology to make face-to-face payments of up to 50 euros without entering the PIN, requiring only to bring the card to the payment terminal.

As Banco de Portugal explains, the initial COVID-19 pandemic response was intended to encourage the use of "contactless" payments and appears to have had an effect. Consumers started to use contactless technology in about 20% of card purchases, practically doubling the level of use that existed before the pandemic. In 2018, the number of transactions carried out through technology more than doubled compared to 2017, but it was still far below what was desired.

The truth is that COVID-19 led to a change in the consumption habits of the Portuguese, with MB WAY being one of the highlights. Even in the first week of June, for example, the average purchase through MB WAY reached its highest level again, with the use of the service on online channels registering an increase of 42% above the pre-pandemic period.