Spending with electronic cards hits a record high of over €18bn
The use of electronic payment cards by shoppers has hit an all-time high.
Some €18.1bn was spent on debit and credit cards in the three months to September.
There are six million active debit and credit cards in the economy, according to a report from the Central Bank.
A total of €10bn was spent at counters using debit cards in the three-month period, a rise of 10pc on the same period last year.
Credit card spending is also on the rise, but at a slower pace.
The average point-of-sale transaction using a payment card was just over €47.
Half of all the money spent on debit cards goes to the retail sector, the Central Bank data indicates.
Huge numbers of people use their credit card to pay electricity and gas bills.
There was a rise of 17pc in the use of credit cards to pay utilities bills.
The use of cards to buy online has surged. There was a 16pc rise to just over €4.6bn in e-commerce expenditure in the three months to September when compared with the same period last year.
Electronic shopping now accounts for a quarter of all debit card expenditure, and half of purchases on credit cards.
Total debit and credit card expenditure outside Ireland averaged €684m in the three months to the end of September, a rise of 14pc on the same period in the previous year.