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$200 no-PIN Tap & Go limit must end now

Is there a Tap & Steal crimeWave?

  • Police in all states issue multiple warnings and posts about Tap & Go cards
  • Scammer reveals how he gets away with Tap & Go fraud every payday
  • Industry card fraud statistics could undervalue true costs
  • $200 no-PIN Tap & Go limits could be fuelling associated damages
  • Cash is not a major COVID-19 transmission risk (despite early fears).


Scammers and criminals are taking advantage of the $200 no-PIN limit on contactless transactions. 

Cash industry research has uncovered an easy vulnerability and recorded an interview (available for media) with a self-confessed systematic Tap & Go scammer.

Multiple large no-PIN transactions made in a short period of time are not being red-flagged. Visa and Mastercard cards may impose a limit of 5 no-PIN transactions within 24 hours but scammers seem to be aware of this limitation.

Criminals are collecting multiple cards, making multiple large transactions quickly and apparently escaping detection. Desperate people are reporting their own cards lost or stolen when they face running short of money.

Police in all Australian jurisdictions have issued multiple warnings about Tap & Go card fraud.

Industry self-regulator AusPayNet has extended the temporary $200 no-PIN limit until 17 March 2021.

“There is no justification for the $200 no-PIN limit to remain in place,” said Jason Bryce, spokesperson for CashWelcome.ORG, an initiative of the cash industry.

“The $200 limit was introduced to prevent COVID-19 transmission but we now know that isn’t necessary.”

“The $200 no-PIN limit is a honeypot for criminals. With more than one card, thieves can rack up thousands of dollars of purchases in a short time.

“In an economy under pressure, people struggling and unemployment payments reducing, the $200 no-PIN limit is too easy for desperate people to steal, ‘lose’ and misuse.”

“Tap & Go fraud is serious because it often involves bag snatching, break and enter, burglary and assault,” said Jason Bryce.

“The costs of which are not included in industry card fraud data relating to losses. AusPayNet data does not make comparing the $100 limit and $200 limit periods possible.”

In July, AusPayNet reported lost and stolen card fraud led to losses of $30.8 million in the year to 30 June 2020. The data is not broken down to quarterly or monthly figures.

“It’s impossible to know if the $200 limit has led to more card fraud or not, based on the industry’s reported data.”

“And the real cost could be higher if the costs of associated damages and crimes are included.”

The temporary $200 no-PIN limit on contactless transactions was introduced by the industry, following consultation with government, on 3 April 2020.

“The World Health Organisation are not warning people to avoid cash or touching a PIN pad on an Eftpos terminal,” said Jason Bryce.

“There is no longer any justification for PIN-free transactions up to $200.”

“We all know now that social distance, masks and good hand hygiene are the keys to fighting the virus.”

CashWelcome.ORG is an initiative of the cash industry and ATMIA.

MEDIA ASSETS AVAILABLE: For link to online folder of comments, grabs, interview with self-confessed Tap & Go scammer contact:

Sandra Smith ATMIA sandra.smith@atmia.com 0424 300 660

Jason Bryce Media@CashWelcome.ORG 0428 777 727