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BPFI Payments Monitor – Contactless Update March 2021

Over €948 million worth of contactless payments made during March – up 72% on the same time last year

8th May 2021 – The latest contactless payments figures published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show that over €948 million worth of contactless payments were made during March 2021, an increase of 72% on the same time last year.

Highlighting the main trends, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI, said: “The phenomenal growth we are seeing in contactless payments, particularly over the last 12 months, is once again evident in today’s figures. During the course of March over €948 million worth of contactless payments were made, up 72% on the same time last year. This comes at a time when the country was in level 5 lockdown which further spotlights the jump we have seen. On a day-to-day basis 1.9 million contactless payments to the value of €30.6 million were made per day in March 2021 with the value of payments jumping from €17.8 million a year earlier.

Additionally the figures show that payments in stores or at other physical terminals accounted for almost half (48%) of card spend in March and furthermore contactless payments accounted for 35.7% of these point of-sale payments – the highest share since the monthly data became available in January 2020.

The increases we have seen over the last year in the use of contactless payments very clearly demonstrates the shift which has taken place from cash to digital payments. The pandemic has undoubtedly played a considerable role in driving this change in consumer behaviour, something we expect to continue as the country begins to open back up again.”

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

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.

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