The contactless payment limit has been raised from 20 to 30 per transaction to meet the UK's growing appetite for PIN-free payments.

The UK Cards Association (UKCA) explained that the new limit is 5 above the average supermarket spend of 25, meaning that consumers have more scope to use contactless payments.

Research by the UKCA found that 2.5bn has been spent using contactless cards in the first half of 2015, indicating that consumers in the UK are becoming strong adopters of the payment method.

Contactless spending in the first half of 2015 has outstripped 2014's total yearly spending of 2.32bn, and the new 30 limit will push that total in the second half of the year.

Graham Peacop, chief executive at the UKCA, noted how the rise in spending through contactless payments has been driven by the availability of cards and growing retailer support.

"The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way," he added.

Visa and MasterCard, two of the main providers of contactless payment cards in the UK, as well as facilitators of Apple Pay smartphone contactless payments, welcomed the higher limit.

"We've seen unprecedented growth in this area, with the number of Visa contactless transactions more than trebling in the past year in the UK," said Kevin Jenkins, managing director of UK & Ireland at Visa Europe.

"Today's threshold increase to 30 gives consumers all the benefits of contactless across a broader range of their daily activities, and we expect to see this momentum continue to build as more people adopt mobile and wearable payment technology."