The total spending on debit/
credit cards in Ireland last year was
€22.8bn compared with ATM withdrawals of €22.3bn. It was the first time that
cards overtook cash.
Figures for the first half of 2011 indicate the continued rise of card usage and
decline of ATM withdrawals.
The data was provided by the
Irish Payment Services Organisation Limited (IPSO).
Ireland use ATMs more than in any other EU
country making an average of 40 withdrawals, totalling almost €5,000 per capita,
in 2010. €1bn per annum is reputed to be the potential boost to the Irish
economy of a significant switch to electronic and card payments.
Electronic payments which
are faster more efficient and more cost effective are vital in the current
economic climate. Yet Ireland still lags
behind its European counterparts with the value of all non-cash transactions
totalling 36% in 2010. Although rising, this remains in stark contrast to the EU
average of 96% as consumers on the continent have for many years been using more
cost-efficient and streamlined payment methods.
Another notable trend is the
increase in the number of people using Internet banking services over the past
four years with over 2.8m customers now registered for online banking.
IPSO recently reported that customers made 10.7m online payments in Q1
2011, a 17.3% increase on the same period last year.
Although still one of the
highest users of cash in the EU, at least as measured by ATM withdrawals on a
per capita basis, the volume of cash being paid out of ATMs in Ireland dropped
by over €3bn to €22.3bn in 2010. The number of new debit cards issued exceeded
330,000 in 2010 to bring the total number now to 3.4m.
IPSO said that even allowing for
the economic downturn, there does appear to be a shift away from cash to debit
cards for day-to-day purchases. While the rise in online purchasing is having
some impact, debit card usage continues to grow in popularity, with over 200m transactions in 2010, now exceeding the number of ATM withdrawals.