Irish shoppers’ online spending up 25% – Central Bank

Some €1.9bn was spent online using credit and debit cards in the year to September

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Irish consumers have a growing fondness for online purchases, according to Central Bank data, having increased their internet spending by 25 per cent to €1.9 billion in the year to September.

Some €1.4 billion of the September 2019 outlay was spent via debit card spending.

Increasing online card spending tallies with increased card usage more generally. The figures show that spending at the shop till using a debit card increased 24 per cent in the third quarter to €3.9 billion. The average spend was €40.73. When shoppers used a credit card, the average spend was €75.86.

The increase in spending via debit cards was quite broad-based, with retail and services sector sales posting strong rises. But the highest growth was in the restaurants, dining and entertainment sectors, which saw spending rise 24 per cent to almost €256 million.

More than half of the 11 per cent increase in card spending seen in retail was attributable to groceries and perishables.

Credit cards

For credit cards, spending was mainly split between the retail and services sectors. Total spending in the social sector rose 23 per cent during the period to €93.1 million.

Debit card expenditure outside Ireland, not including ATM transactions, totalled €1.7 billion in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 11 per cent on the same quarter the previous year. Credit card expenditure abroad rose 8 per cent to €565 million in the period.

Expenditure by Irish tourists abroad accounted for 10 per cent of total debit card spending and 19 per cent of credit card expenditure in the third quarter.

At the end of the third quarter there were 6.2 million debit and credit cards in the State.