Ireland continues to move towards a cashless society post-pandemic, figures from a recent report by a banking representative group show.
During Q2 digital banking payments outnumbered direct debit transactions for the first time, according to the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI).
There were 36 million digital transactions carried out, a 12% increase from the same period last year.
The BPFI’s Payments Monitor for Q2 also found that contactless payments surged with €49m worth of them carried out per day in that period, the highest daily spend in any quarter since the data series began in 2016.
“It has become clear that contactless is increasing its penetration of card payments. Some 57% of card payment volumes were contactless in Q2, the highest proportion on record and up from 51% a year earlier,” said Gillian Byrne, head of payments at the BPFI.
“Similarly, some 39% of the value of payments at physical points of sale were contactless, up from 35% in Q2 2021,” she added.
However, not everyone sees a cashless society as an overall positive direction for some people in the economy.
“We do not live in a cashless society. It is not a policy envisaged for Ireland and for good reason,” said Dermott Jewell, policy and council advisor at the Consumers’ Association of Ireland.
“It is not, for example, in the best interest of customers who rely on cash payments to pay their way. This can be in the form of an allowance from a parent, a cash payment from an employer, use of cash from savings while unemployed,” he added.