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Contactless Card Signature Limit Increase for COVID-19

With physical distancing and contactless payments being top of mind, card networks are increasing CVM (card verification method) limits for contactless card payments. To help combat COVID-19, Square is increasing the signature limit on contactless card transactions in step with these changes. These updates will be delivered through firmware updates, and apply to the Square Contactless and Chip Reader, Square Register, Square Terminal, and Square Stand.

What is happening?

Physical distancing and contactless payments are top-of-mind for consumers and sellers. Card networks including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, JCB, and American Express are increasing CVM limits for contactless card payments.

What does CVM mean?

CVM stands for Card Verification Method and is used to validate that a credit card is being used by its owner. In the United States, a CVM typically consists of a signature. A contactless CVM limit is the amount a customer can pay for with a contactless card before they are prompted for a signature.

What does this mean for Square sellers and their customers?

There is a $10,000 limit for contactless card transactions for Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and JCB.

Does this apply to contactless mobile wallet payments (like Apple Pay)?

No. Mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay support a contactless experience up to $50,000 and do not require a signature.

Are there exceptions to these limits?

Yes. Card issuers (Wells Fargo, Chase, etc.) may set their own transaction limits.