Debit card spending up on last year

We are using debit cards directly — in shops and restaurants — a lot more, according to the Central Bank.

Debit-card point-of-sale transactions in September were 14% higher than in the same period last year.

A total of €2.9bn was spent using debit cards in Ireland this September.

The increase is linked to the continued rollout of the contactless payment system, whereby consumers simply tap their card against a machine in a retail store or restaurant to pay, once the amount they owe is €30 or less.

For September, less money was withdrawn from ATMs using debit cards than spent on debit cards for point-of-sale transactions.

Compared to the €2.9bn spent using debit cards directly, ATM transactions on debit cards totalled €1.6bn.

Credit-card spending was also looked at by the Central Bank in the statistics that were released yesterday. It was relatively unchanged for September 2016 and 2017, with a fall of €4.8m.

The Central Bank collated statistics for ecommerce spending — in September 2017, €1.36bn was spent online in Ireland, with €948m and €413m attributable to debit cards and credit cards, respectively.

This marks an increase of €93m, compared with 2016, or a 12% rise.

The statistics also look at what debit and credit card spending was used on. There was an increase of 17% in September 2017, compared with the same time last year, for people spending on social items and services.

Professional services also saw an increase, with 18% more transactions being carried out via cards, compared with September 2016.

Restaurants and cafes also saw people spending more money with cards this September versus September 2016. There was a 22% increase here.

The Central Bank also examined card expenditure outside of Ireland. Total card expenditure outside of the country, when the physical card is present, averaged €600m in the three months to the end of September 2017.

The Central Bank said the figure provides an indication of how much Irish tourists spend abroad.

A large seasonal effect can be seen in the data, particularly for debit cards, with higher expenditures outside Ireland recorded in the summer months compared to the winter months.

Another recent set of similar figures that were released by the Central Bank showed the same trend in card spending.

Debit-card point-of-sale transactions totalled €2.9bn in June 2017, which was 16% higher than the same month last year and close to a record high.

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