Use of contactless cards doubles after limit raised to €30
THE number of contactless payments made on debit cards has doubled since the move to increase the payment limit.
The usage rate in petrol stations has quadrupled thanks to low fuel costs, with drivers able to buy enough petrol to drive from Dublin to Cork with a single Visa debit contactless transaction.
Usage has also quadrupled in convenience stores and more than doubled in bars and nightclubs, Visa said.
Last October the limit for "tap-and-go" payments on cards was doubled from €15 to €30.
A new analysis from Visa Europe said the move by Finance Minister Michael Noonan to increase the limits has seen the number of weekly contactless payments double to 1.3m in the six months period to March compared with the previous six months.
Contactless cards allow people to shop with debit and credit cards without requiring them to enter a PIN number when at a till. Users simply swipe their card over a machine.
Visa said two contactless transactions with one of its debit cards were now being made every second in Ireland. It said 25 million Visa transactions were made in this country in just six months.
Contactless payment options are available in stores such as Topaz, McDonald's, Insomnia, Arnotts, Boots, Centra, Marks & Spencer, Spar, Eurospar, Mace, H&M, Burger King, KC Peaches, O'Briens Sandwich Bars and Munchies.
Philip Konopik, Visa's Ireland country manager, said: "The popularity of contactless payments in Ireland continues to soar, with over 25 million transactions with Visa debit cards made in six months."
Visa said the increase in usage also demonstrates its commitment to the Government's National Payments plan to help boost the number of electronic payments.
The Government is trying to get use to lessen our use of cash and cheques.
AIB has waived fees on using contactless debit cards until August 26 next. Bank of Ireland currently charges 1c per transaction.
Both KBC Bank and Permanent TSB have no fees on contactless transactions.