Half of Irish consumers using contactless payments

Half of Irish consumers want contacless payment level of €30 increased

Over half of debit and credit card owners use contactless payment when paying for goods and services, according to survey results published by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA).

The survey of 1000 consumers was conducted by Amárach Research to establish consumer trends when paying for everyday items.

The research found that the average contactless payment is €11.33.

Despite this, 42 per cent of those surveyed would like to see the €30 limit on contactless payments increased, while a further 45 per cent were unable to correctly identify the current limit at all.


The survey found that time saving was the biggest advantage to using contactless payment, with 58 per cent saying it was ‘quick’.

Other advantages cited in the survey include safety, lower bank charges and the convenience of not having to carry cash or go to an ATM.

Over half (57 per cent) use contactless payments at least once a week with 45 per cent of users using contactless a few times a week or more.

While more and more people are using contactless, the survery found which is most common among 25 to 44 year old, the survey found one in three are unaware of what the contactless symbol on debit cards represents.

Almost 40 per cent claim to not have contactless payment ability with their card while 28 per cent never think to use it.

The top five items we pay for using contactless payments are: food and groceries (75 per cent); fuel (23 per cent); alcohol (21 per cent); clothes and shoes (21 per cent) and newspapers and magazines (17 per cent).

The survey found that debit cards are twice as common as credit cards, with 88 per cent owning a debit card versus 43 per cent owning a credit card.

Those aged between 35 and 44 are most likely to own a debit card (91 per cent) while those aged over 55 are most likely to own a credit card (59 per cent ).

General Manager, BOI Payment Acceptance Brian Cleary said there over 3 million contactless debit or credit cards in Ireland and usage is growing rapidly.

“ Despite contactless technology being available for less than three years, over 50 per cent of people are now using the technology with 45 per cent of people doing so multiple times per week,” said Mr Cleary.

“Amongst our own clients, contactless transactions now account for between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of all transactions, depending on the sector,” he said.

Mr Cleary said almost 90 per cent of debit cards are contacless but more consume awareness needs to be raised around the cards.

“Currently over 35,000 Irish businesses offer contactless payment facilities and contactless is very quickly becoming the norm for consumers and business alike. Over the next five years we expect to see an accelerated reduction in cash transactions as businesses realise the clear advantages of contactless, namely the ability to process more transactions, benefit from reduced cash handling costs and a lesser exposure to theft and misappropriation of cash,” he said.