Expanding PINless transactions at the point of sale. Expanding PINless transactions at the point of sale. (Source: Shutterstock)

To promote social distancing and minimize contact with surfaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fiserv announced that it is increasing the maximum amount allowed for a PINless purchase from $50 to $100 on its Accel and STAR debit payment networks.

Accel and STAR are the first debit payment networks to announce such an increase, which is designed to not only speed the checkout process during a time when many retailers are limiting the number of customers in stores at a given time, but also to ease consumer fears about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“In the current environment, consumers and merchants are looking for ways they can complete transactions safely and quickly,” Daneen Cady, vice president of Accel for Card Services at Fiserv, said.

“Raising approval limits for PINless transactions will speed the checkout process for the purchaser and everyone standing in line,” Carol Specogna, vice president of product strategy for Card Services at Fiserv, said in a press release.

All other guidelines and rules, such as transaction requirements and fees, remain intact. Some merchant categories are exempt from the new guidelines, including travel-related services, currency exchange and check cashing services, wiring funds, automated fuel dispensers and gambling transactions.

PINless transactions are only allowed for face-to-face point-of purchase sales initiated at a physical device with a customer’s card present, according to Fiserv.