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Published: 25 march 2020 12:57

Lithuanian banks raise contactless payment limit to 50 euro for the duration of the quarantine

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With the number of coronavirus infections on the rise in the country, it is particularly important to adhere to hygiene requirements and avoid unnecessary contact with potentially unsafe surfaces. In response to the COVID-19 situation and in order to contribute to combatting the virus’ spread, banks operating in Lithuania have signed a memorandum, based on which they agreed to double the payment limit for contactless payment cards to 50 euro.

During the quarantine, it will now be possible to pay for purchases up to 50 euro without using a PIN code. Up to now, contactless payments could be made for purchases only up to 25 euro.

“Payment card readers are one of the most frequently touched surfaces in a store. This creates opportunities for the virus to spread. A larger contactless payment limit will allow customers to pay safely for a larger purchase. In consideration of this critical situation, we recommend the country’s residents to visit stores as rarely as possible, shop online, choose electronic payment means. By acting responsibly and thoughtfully, we contribute to halting the virus infection,” Mantas Zalatorius, the president of the Association of Lithuanian Banks (LBA), emphasised.

“We value the flexibility and rapid response demonstrated by the banks in this constantly changing environment. The raised limit will allow residents to make payments faster and with less physical contact. While the limit is increased, all the safe payment measures remain. Do not reveal your password or other data to any third persons, if you lose your card – immediately report this to the bank and have it blocked, constantly monitor your transactions on the internet banking or through banking apps. During this period, we must remain particularly watchful,” Jekaterina Govina, the director of the Bank of Lithuania’s Oversight Service, said.

According to LBA data, currently, payments up to 25 euro make up around 85% of all payments made by contactless cards and payments up to 50 euro – an entire 95%. The increased limit is applied only for physical points of sale. The usual extra security solutions apply to it, for example, sometimes when paying even a sum that does not exceed the limit, you may be requested to input your PIN code. This memorandum does not apply to cards issued outside of Lithuania.

The memorandum was signed by the Lithuanian branch of Luminor Bank AS, AB SEB Bank, AB Swedbank, the Lithuanian branch of AS Citadele Banka, AB Šiaulių Bankas and UAB Revolut Payments.

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