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News : Irish Last Updated: Aug 16, 2011 - 4:50 PM


Total spending on debit/ credit cards in Ireland last year was €22.8bn compared with ATM withdrawals of €22.3bn
By Finfacts Team
Aug 16, 2011 - 3:38 PM

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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).

Consumers in 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.

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