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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 for Contactless and Chip.

What is happening?

Physical distancing and contactless payments are top-of-mind for consumers and sellers. Card networks including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, 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?

The following new contactless CVM limits are being implemented:
- Visa, Mastercard, Discover: $100
- American Express: $200

Customers paying on any contactless-enabled Square hardware will be able to tap contactless cards up to the above amounts, and will not be prompted for a signature.

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

No. Mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay will continue to support a contactless experience for any amount and do not require a signature.

When will these changes be live?

Contactless CVM limit increases are being included as part of regular firmware updates, which are being rolled out across Square hardware over the next few days. All hardware will be updated by April 27th, 2020.

How can I confirm if I have the new higher limits on my hardware?

Check your hardware’s firmware version in settings. The following firmware versions contain the new higher limits:
- Square Reader: 3.8.91 and above
- Square Terminal: 3.8.91 and above
- Square Register: 3.8.91 and above

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