One contactless payment being made per second

Over 2m contactless payments are being made by Irish consumers every month — one every second.

Contactless cards allow banks customers to pay for goods by holding a card in front of a terminal, without the need to enter a personal identity number (Pin).

The cards use the same industry-standard secure encryption technology as chip and Pin. Users are asked for a Pin occasionally as a security feature to verify they are the genuine cardholder.

Payments technology company Visa Europe said the figures indicated that the popularity of the new payment method is clearly on the rise.

Last month, AIB revealed the number of contactless payments made by its customers have passed 1m per month. Adoption and usage of contactless cards in Europe also continues to grow with more than 1bn transactions across the continent in the last year.

Irish Visa cardholders made contactless transactions in 70 foreign destinations, while tourists from 54 countries made a contactless payment using their Visa card in Ireland. The average Visa contactless purchase value made is €7.92. A total of €1 in every €3 of consumer spending in Ireland is now on a Visa card — debit, credit, or prepaid.

A range of retailers have already embraced contactless payments in Ireland including McDonalds, Insomnia, Arnotts, Boots, Centra, Marks and Spencer, Spar, Eurospar, Mace, H&M, Burger King, KC Peaches, O’Briens Sandwich Bars, and Munchies.

Visa Europe also confirmed it is increasing the threshold for contactless payments from €15 to €30 from October 31. Over the coming weeks and months, retailers will begin to change the limit in-store as the new payment limit is rolled out.

The move towards contactless payments is aligned to the Government’s National Payments Plan to help towards reducing cash and paper-based transactions and promoting electronic transactions.

There have been more than 10m contactless payments in Ireland since the system was introduced back in 2011.

Conor Langford, Visa Europe’s country manager for Ireland, said the increase in the threshold had already been referenced by finance minister Michael Noonan in last week’s Budget.

“We’re delighted to move into the next phase of their adoption as we push to make contactless payments ubiquitous,” said Mr Langford. “This also forms part of our commitment to the Government’s National Payments plan to help boost the number of electronic payments in Ireland, which will enhance our national competitiveness.”


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