Budget changes drive use of contactless electronic transactions

Changes introduced as part of last year’s budget which raised the limit for what customers can spend with contactless payments has helped the number of transactions double in just six months.

Budget changes drive use of contactless electronic transactions

Ireland’s continued move away from cash in favour of electronic payments has gathered pace with two contactless transactions now made every second across the country.

Significant growth in the number of contactless payments increased after Finance Minister Michael Noonan raised the amount customers could spend from €15 to €30 per transaction last October.

Following its introduction, the number of weekly transactions with Visa debit cards more than doubled from 600,000 to 1.3m in the space of six months.

Visa, which carried out the research, said the move had a “transformative effect on consumer spending habits”.

“The popularity of contactless payments in Ireland continues to soar with over 25 million transactions with Visa debit cards made in six months,” Visa Europe Ireland country manager Philip Konopik said.

The increased limit helped grow the appeal of contactless payments by broadening the range of goods that could be bought with the technology.

The usage rate in petrol stations and convenience stores has quadrupled, while the number of transactions has more than doubled in bars and nightclubs.

More retailers are also continuing to adopt contactless technology with the likes of Topaz, McDonalds, Spar, and O’Briens Sandwich Bars among those already using it.

The larger limit also helped the number of transactions between €15 and €30 qith Visa debit cards — either via conventional chip and pin or with contactless technology — increasing 16-fold since its introduction.

“With contactless technology, Visa is also building the foundations for the future of payments in Ireland as the same terminals will accept transactions by mobile and wearable devices.

"The increase in usage also demonstrates our commitment to the Government’s National Payments Plan to help boost the number of electronic payments in Ireland,” Mr Konopik said.

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