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Consumers now tapping their way to almost €20m a day in card spending

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Therehas been a strong rise in the value of contactless payments, with consumers now spending almost €20m a day on their tap-and-go cards.

The value of contactless payments in May reached almost €600m, the highest monthly total this year.

On average, consumers made €19.3m worth of contactless payments per day during May. This is up 7pc on figures in February before Covid-19 hit, according to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

Consumers are also spending more than before the virus struck on their contactless debit and credit cards.

The contactless limit increased to €50 during April in response to the Covid crisis.

Consumers have been urged to avoid cash for hygienic reasons during the pandemic.

Figures from the banks show an increase in the average contactless transaction which reached €15.30 in May, up from €11.92 in February.

The number of payments made with a contactless card was 1.25 million in May.

This was down from 1.51 million taps per day in February.

While this is unexpected due to the lockdown and restrictions on movement during March through to mid-May, overall the figures indicate that consumers are spending more than before through contactless payments with the May figures accounting for the highest value on record this year, the banks said.

Chief executive of BPFI Brian Hayes said consumers wanted fast payments.

He said the strong recovery in the values of contactless payments for May was likely in part as a result of the increase in the contactless limit to €50.

"The volume of contactless payments was down in May when compared to February before Covid-19 hit. However, this must be seen in the context of the restrictions which only started to ease during the second half of May," he said.

Irish Independent