Why your card could be declined when you’re Christmas shopping

PUBLISHED: 11:49 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 26 November 2019

New contactless rules could make Christmas shopping embarrassing      Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

New contactless rules could make Christmas shopping embarrassing Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto


Few things are more embarrassing than getting to the checkout with a pile of gifts, only to have your payment card declined.

But it happens - and it can even occur when you have plenty of money in your account.

Since September, new rules have been brought in across Europe to clamp down on card fraud.

One of them could be a particular problem in the coming weeks of festive shopping - your card could be rejected if you use your contactless chip five times in quick succession.

So a lightning raid on Chapelfield, picking up gifts from a host of shops, could cause issues.

In September, the EU Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2) came into force to enhance online payment security and consumer rights.

To prevent misuse, card service providers have implemented a limit on the number of contactless card payments customers can make to five before needing to verify their payment with a PIN.

Payments in an unusual location can also make banks think the card may be being misused.

Christo Georgiev, chief executive of UK payment solutions company myPOS, said customers needed always to have their PIN handy, even when paying for low-value items.

He said: "Tap and pay is undoubtedly more convenient than any other payment method available today and customers love it.

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"And the recently introduced limit of five consecutive taps without a PIN is actually good for your security.

"You shouldn't panic when your card is declined once the limit has been reached, just continue using your card but make sure you can enter your PIN to complete the transaction."

There are an estimated 112m contactless cards in the United Kingdom, and contactless payment systems account for one in three payments.

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