Interac Says Tap Payment Limits to Remain Unchanged During COVID-19 Pandemic

Interac flash

Image via Interac

Mastercard and Visa have allowed tap payment limits to increase to $250 per transaction during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for users of Interac Flash contactless payments, the limit remains at $100 per transaction.

An Interac spokesperson told iPhone in Canada in a statement, “We understand that contactless payments are top-of-mind right now for consumers and merchants,” adding, “Interac Flash transaction limits will remain unchanged in order to maintain a secure, reliable and consistent payment experience for Canadians at a time when they rely on it the most.”

The company further explained numerous parties are involved when an Interac Debit transaction takes place, including banks, acquirers and merchants. This means changes to limits are “complex and unique to our Canadian financial ecosystem.”

Interac said making a large-scale industry change, which would include in-person site visits to modify point-of-sale terminals, “is not recommended during this pandemic crisis.”

The spokesperson said contactless debit transactions limits “are already higher in Canada than in other parts of the world.” With Interac payments based on good funds, unlike credit cards, there are no chargebacks to merchants, but instead to banks.

“In these uncertain times, we remain committed to maintaining the already low-cost solutions for Canadian businesses and staying focused on providing our customers with secure and reliable ways to pay,” added the Interac spokesperson.

For those without credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard and higher $250 tap payment limits, the $100 Interac limit on contactless transactions can be limiting, at times when many are being told to shop once per week to maintain social distancing. For transactions above $100, Interac users will need to keep touching contaminated PIN pads during the coronavirus pandemic.