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Consumers show strong preference for contactless payments – BPFI Payments Monitor

Consumers make close on 1 million contactless payments per day in 2018

Irish enterprises record the highest percentage of online sales in the EU

Consumer preferences for contactless credit and debit card payments, as well as for digital banking payments, are very evident from the latest BPFI Payments Monitor pubished today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).  This shows that during the second half of 2018 the volume and value of contactless payments both grew by almost 60%; and digital banking payments were up 12.6% over the same period.

Tracking key trends across a range of payment categories including contactless payments, digital banking, debit and credit cards, ATMs, cheques and cash, the BPFI Payments Monitor presents some key highlights as follows:

  • Some 364 million contactless payments to the value of more than €4.4 billion were made by consumers during 2018 – that’s almost 1 million contactless payments per day.  Growth in contactless payments continues apace – by almost 60% during the second half of 2018.
  • Consumers used digital banking (personal online or mobile banking) to make 93.7 million credit transfers during 2018.  Growth remains strong – up 12.6% during the second half of 2018.
  • Over one third of consumer debit card spend and almost a half of all personal credit card spend during the first quarter of 2019 has been through eCommerce – as distinct from physical point of sale.  In fact, the use by Irish enterprises of online as a sales channel is the second highest in the EU, according to Eurostat; and, at 35%, the percentage of total sales transacted online is the highest in the EU.
  • Consumers’ love affair with cash continues: some €19.9 billion was withdrawn from ATMs in Ireland during 2018, according to figures from the Central Bank of Ireland, with a significant increase to €133 on average in the amount withdrawn during the final quarter of  2018.

Speaking about the development by banks across Europe of instant payment platforms for consumers,  Richard Walsh, Head of Digital & Payments Strategy, BPFI stated:

Ireland can point to several developments on this front.  The five main retail banks here recently provided BPFI with a mandate to examine the development of an industry-wide consumer and merchant mobile-based payment proposition for the Irish market.  The banks have also agreed a timeline for the delivery of real-time payments for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the introduction of SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) in Ireland.”

 “Coupled with clear appetite on the part of consumers for mobile-based, instant payment solutions, this provides the basis for an innovative payments infrastructure that should serve the country well into the future.”

 The BPFI Payments Monitor is available on the BPFI website here.


Notes: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has some 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Based on data from BPFI member banks and Central Bank of Ireland, the BPFI Payments Monitor  provides a comprehensive picture of the various means of payment executed via the various payments systems in Ireland. The report, and the BPFI payments data series, are available on the BPFI website here [].

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, 087 9016880 or