Record €17.9bn spent last year via contactless payments

The number of contactless transactions increased last year

Caoimhe Gordon

Contactless payments reached a record high in Ireland last year as the shift to digital transactions continues.

Almost €17.9bn was spent via contactless payments in 2022, according to the latest figures published today by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

This reflects a 31.4pc jump from 2021 when contactless transactions were valued at over €13bn.

The number of contactless payment transactions also increased across the year, rising to 1.1 billion in 2022. This was up from 834 million reported a year earlier.

The average payment value across the year also rose slightly to €20.91 per transaction last year compared to €19.58 a year earlier. This figure has also risen sharply since March 2020 when the average contactless payment stood at €12.51.

The Payments Monitor report, compiled by the BPFI, also revealed that the final quarter of 2022 saw around three million contactless payments a day.

These daily transactions were valued at €53m a day, the highest daily contactless spend in any quarter since the data series began in 2016.

December recorded the highest contactless spend in 2022, with over €1.8bn spent in the final month of the year.

The rise in the number of contactless payments in recent years was driven by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic three years ago as consumers were urged to stop using cash to avoid infection.

The contactless limit was also increased to €50 in April 2020 to limit the number of cash transactions over lockdowns.

Overall, the volume of online and mobile banking payments last year rose by 9.4pc to 143 million, with the total number of transactions doubling since 2016.

In the fourth quarter, the volume of both online and mobile banking payments were up 5pc year-on-year to 36.7 million, the highest quarterly volume since this data was first collected in 2016.

“Today’s report demonstrates the continued growth in consumer reliance on contactless payments with an increase in volume of 27.2pc on an annual basis to almost 1.1 billion transactions,” BPFI head of payments Gillian Byrne said.

“Contactless payments more than doubled since 2019 to 1.1 billion with the value of transactions almost treble the 2019 level,” she added.