Record surge in contactless transactions as consumers flock back to retail

BPFI figures show record three million contactless payments made per day in final three months of 2022

The value of contactless payments surged to a record €17.9 billion last year, a jump of 31 per cent on 2021, as Irish consumers flocked back to restaurants, bars and shops in the wake of the coronavirus, figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show.

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, consumers across the State made three million contactless payments per day worth an average of €53 million in the final quarter of 2022, the highest daily contactless spend in any quarter since the data series began in 2016.

The data also reflects the Irish consumer’s deepening reliance on digital payments and banking. On an annual basis, the number of contactless payments had more than doubled since 2019 to 1.1 billion, while the value was almost three times (2.92) the 2019 level.

The BPFI’s latest payments monitor reports the volume of online and mobile banking payments (digital banking) continued to grow by 5 per cent year-on-year in the final quarter of 2022 to 36.7 million. This represents the highest quarterly volume recorded by the data series.


Gillian Byrne, head of payments at the BPFI, said: “Today’s report demonstrates the continued growth in consumer reliance on contactless payments with an increase in volume of 27.2 per cent on an annual basis to almost 1.1 billion transactions.

“We also continue to see a surge in mobile and online banking payments, with today’s report showing that on an annual basis, volumes have risen by 9.4 per cent.

“This is a continuation of the trend seen in recent years and figures reveal that volumes have more than doubled to 143 million since 2016 when there were only 71 million transactions.”

The publication of the new monitor data coincides with the hosting of BPFI’s national payments conference which is being opened by EU commissioner for financial services Mairéad McGuinness.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times