Latest Payments Monitor shows huge growth in contactless and digital banking transactions

The latest BPFI Payments Monitor shows strong growth in card payments, driven mainly by the widespread acceptance and use of contactless payments and continued growth in digital banking.


The following are key highlights of the Monitor:

  • Card payment volumes rose by 20.4% year-on-year in H2 2017, boosted by continued growth in debit card usage and the adoption of contactless payments.
  • The value of contactless payments, comprising contactless card and mobile wallet payments reached €1.6 billion in H2 2017, and more than one in four card payments were contactless.
  • Digital banking transaction volumes, comprising credit transfers initiated via online and mobile banking, grew by 27.3% year-on-year to almost 46 million in H2 2017.
  • The value of ATM cash withdrawals fell on a year-on-year basis for the second successive quarter in Q4 2017, with some €9.8 billion in cash withdrawn in the second half of 2017.

The Monitor notes that, with cash dominating at the point of sale, there is still huge room for growth in card payments:


“Payment card usage is growing fast but cash remains the main payment instrument in Ireland and in most European countries. The share of POS [point of sale] payments made in cash is falling, however, as account-based payments continue to grow and consumers use their accounts in new ways,” according to the Monitor.


However, with “cash representing more than three quarters of POS payments in Ireland, we have much further to go. Assuming current trends continue, we estimate it will be at least 2020 before payment cards overtake cash in Ireland,” the Monitor concludes.


Digital banking is emerging as an increasingly important channel for payments, with more than one in three credit transfers between bank accounts conducted through online or mobile banking in H2 2017.


The full BPFI Payments Monitor is available here.

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