Typically, contactless payments can only be made at compatible terminals using a contactless card, smartphone, or smartwatch, for purchases up to $100. But in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and our need for social distancing, Mastercard is upping the limit.
Customers will now be able to pay for purchases up to $250 using contactless technology once industry partners allow the capability. This will afford a safer way to pay that does not require inserting a card into a machine and touching a pin pad. While Canadians, and others around the world, are encouraged to stay home, they may still need to go out for necessary purchases such as groceries and prescription medications.
Canada has been recognized as one of the most cashless societies in the world, says Mastercard, and the majority of in-person Mastercard transactions in Canada are already tapped.
"Mastercard is proud to have played a leadership role in driving the adoption of contactless payments in Canada and we know that Canadians have embraced it as a preferred way to pay," says Sasha Krstic, President of Mastercard in Canada. "With safety and social distancing top of mind for all Canadians, today's announcement is one way we're helping cardholders to shop easily, securely and with more peace of mind during this difficult time."
Mastercard is also reminding merchants that signatures are not required on a receipt or electronic point of sale device for contactless payments.
Mastercard also recently announced a partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to accelerate the development and access to treatment for COVID-19. Together, the companies committed up to $125 million in funding to speed-up the identification, assessment, development, and scaling of treatments. In addition, Mastercard employees around the world have engaged in its employee donations match program to help communities globally.