Contactless payments on the rise

Half a million transactions since the introduction of Visa debit contactless cards



27 June 2013

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Half a million contactless payments have taken place in Ireland since the recent introduction of Visa debit contactless cards. Visa Europe, the payments technology business, predicts that two million contactless payments with Visa debit cards will take place by the end of the year, eliminating approximately €10 million in cash usage in the next six months alone. By the end of the year, it is estimated that 70% of all Irish adults with bank accounts will have a Visa debit contactless card.

Several Irish retailers including McDonalds, Insomnia, Arnotts, Boots, Centra, Marks and Spencer, Spar, Eurospar and Mace have already adopted the technology to date and a number of other retailers are currently implementing the capability across Ireland to allow their customers to make contactless payments. Research shows that Irish consumers spend 11.2 million minutes a day queuing in shops to pay for low value purchases. Anyone with a Visa debit contactless card can pay for transactions of €15 or less by touching their card to the terminal without the need to enter their PIN, offering customers a faster, more convenient and safe way to pay that cuts down queues.

The main reason why consumers are opting to pay with contactless cards instead of cash is due to convenience. Research carried out by Visa Europe as part of the rollout of contactless payment technology in Ireland revealed that 45% of the public ranked the main benefit of contactless technology as quicker transaction speeds. 37% highlighted the convenience of not having to take cash out of an ATM to make payment and 18% said that the main benefit of the new technology would be not having to spend time looking for cash when making a purchase.

At the end of April 2013, there were 59 million contactless cards in circulation in Europe that can be used at 853,000 acceptance points across Europe. It is expected that there will be 70 million contactless cards in Europe by 2014.




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