The spending limit on each use of a contactless card has increased to £100 from £45 as of Friday, 15 October.

The maximum amount was increased from £30 to £45 at the start of the pandemic, and plans to raise it further were announced in August at the last Budget.

Almost two-thirds of all debit card transactions are made via the tap-and-go technology. But academics have warned raising the limit could increase crime.

When contactless card payments were introduced in 2007, the transaction limit was set at £10. Cards were generally used in this way in place of small change when buying snacks, papers and occasional groceries. The limit was raised gradually to £20, then to £30 in 2015.

The pandemic accelerated a move away from cash, with shoppers often being encouraged to use contactless in many stores to reduce close contact between staff and customers.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Increasing the contactless limit will make it easier than ever to pay safely and securely. As people get back to the high street, millions of payments will made be simpler, providing a welcome boost for retailers and shoppers.” However, there are concerns the next increase will prove tempting for criminals to step up efforts to steal cards.