Visa (NYSE: V) today announced that it welcomes the UAE Central Bank’s move to increase the Card Verification Method (CVM) limit for contactless transactions in UAE to AED 500 (from AED 300).
The 67% increase in the PIN-free transaction limit will allow consumers to simply tap-to-pay using their card, mobile phone or a wearable device for larger purchases. Visa is working closely with local bank partners and merchants to implement the new limit on Visa contactless cards in the UAE.
This move is in line with similar changes in the Middle East and North Africa region where Visa has been working with local governments to increase the limits to support the growing appetite for contactless payments.
Contactless technology provides the fastest, most convenient and highly secure way to pay for both consumers and merchants, enabling simple ‘tap’ payments. According to a 2019 Visa-DED Stay Secure study, about 80% of people in the UAE who already use contactless payment technology trust this payment method. With more than 50% of card transactions in the UAE already contactless, the increase in PIN-free transaction limits will continue to improve consumers’ shopping experience and reinforce their trust in the technology.
“The UAE Central Bank’s decision to increase PIN-free limits for contactless transactions in the country will allow larger everyday purchases to be made using this fast, easy and secure way to pay. It will even further support merchants and front line staff working during these challenging times. Visa is working with our local bank and merchant partners to implement the new central bank-mandated limits for Visa cardholders that will facilitate the continued growth of highly secure and convenient contactless technology in the UAE,” said Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s General Manager for the UAE.
Khan added: “The UAE has always maintained an appropriate limit for PIN-free contactless payments - for instance, the previous limit of AED300 captured over 90% of tap to pay transactions in the UAE. Today, with more consumers and merchants relying on contactless technology to pay and be paid, the new PIN-free limit is a positive move by the UAE Central Bank and reflects its responsiveness to consumer needs and evolving market conditions.”
In addition to convenience, contactless cards using Visa Easy Payment Service experience some of the lowest fraud rates of any type of payment, and fraud rates at point-of-sale remain at historic lows in countries where contactless payments are widely used. This is because contactless transactions are protected with multiple layers of security to ensure that sensitive cardholder information is not compromised. Contactless cards use the same dynamic EMV® Chip security as contact chips, and each transaction includes a unique one-time code, to ensure that stolen information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards.
Visa has been actively working with governments across MENA in enabling the growth in contactless usage. Central banks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Egypt have increased the limits on contactless transactions before a PIN is required, effectively extending the speed and convenience of contactless to larger purchases.