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BPFI Payments Monitor – Contactless Update July 2021

Electronic payments continued to grow strongly as Covid restrictions were eased and business activity increased

Online and mobile banking payments grew by 15% year on year to 32 million in Q2 2021

Contactless payments hit new daily high in July with over 2.5 million payments made per day worth €40.5 million

10TH September 2021 – Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published two new payments reports that highlight the continued growth in electronic payments in Ireland at the expense of cash and paper-based payments.

Online and mobile banking payments continued to grow strongly in the second quarter of the year as Covid-19 restrictions were eased and business activity increased, according to the latest figures from its BPFI Payments Monitor for Q2 2021.

Outlining the latest trends, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI said: “The latest figures show that consumers and businesses continue to move away from cash and paper-based payments. Although payment cards are still the most frequently used method of payment, the volume of payments made online and by mobile phones grew by 15.3% year on year to 32.2 million payments. This increase points to greater use of digital channels in place of over-the-counter branch transactions. Separate European Central Bank data highlights the continuous and substantial decline in branch transactions in Ireland with over-the-counter cash transactions (deposits and withdrawals falling by 24% in volume terms to 10.4 million in 2020.”

“Cheque payments meanwhile remained at historically low levels volumes but were slightly higher (2.1%) than the trough in Q2 2020.”

BPFI figures also show that contactless payments hit a new daily high in July with 2.5 billion payments made per day worth €40.5 million.

Outlining the latest figures Brian Hayes, Chief Executive BPFI, said: “July saw the highest daily levels of contactless payments since BPFI started collecting this data in 2016. July payment volumes rose by 29% year on year to 77.5 million, while the value of contactless rose by 33.7% to almost €1.3 billion. The payment value meanwhile saw an increase to €16.21, from €15.63 a year earlier.”

“As the volume and values of contactless payments continues their upward trend, separate data from the Central Bank of Ireland suggests that the online share of card spending dropped to 42.7% in July down from 57.1% in January. This is as a result of consumers increasing their spending in store as Covid-19 restrictions continued to ease. We will be monitoring how these trends evolve in the coming months as the various sectors across the economy continue to open up.”

Data Series

The BPFI Contactless quarterly report data series since 2016 and contactless monthly for 2020 is available to download here in excel format.


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

The BPFI Payments Monitor Contactless Update July 2021 is available for download below in PDF format.