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Strong recovery in contactless payments as spending hits €600 million in May – highest monthly total in 2020

More than €19m worth of contactless per day in May

The latest figures from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show a strong recovery in the value of contactless payments in May as spending reached almost €600 million, the highest monthly total to date.

On average consumers made €19.3 million worth of contactless payments per day during May up 7% on figures in February before COVID-19 hit. In volume terms contactless payment usage was 1.25 million, down from 1.51 million ‘taps’ per day in February.  While this is unexpected due to the lockdown and restrictions on movement during March through to mid-May, overall the figures indicate  that consumers are spending more than before through contactless payments with the May figures accounting for the highest value on record this year.

With the contactless limit increased to €50 during April in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the figures also show an increase in the average contactless transaction which reached €15.30 in May, up from €11.92 in February.

Speaking on the latest figures, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive BPFI said: “Now more than ever before consumers want fast, simple and secure payments and this is very much reflected in today’s figures which are showing a strong recovery in the values of contactless payments for May. It is likely this growth is in part a result of the increase in the contactless limit to €50, a significant undertaking at the time by BPFI members who worked hard deliver this in collaboration with a number of parties.”

“The volume of contactless payments were down in May when compared to February before COVID-19 hit, however this must be seen in the context of the restrictions which only started to ease during the second half of May. With the recent acceleration of the reopening roadmap and the resulting uplift which has been seen in retail and hospitality spending in particular, we would expect that contactless volumes should show a recovery in the months ahead as more restrictions are lifted.  This is further supported by research carried out by BPFI recently which shows that 92% of all adults have now used contactless payments with one third of adult using contactless as their preferred method of payment in cafes and over a quarter preferring contactless when grocery shopping.”


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.