54% of debit and credit card owners use contactless payment when paying for goods and services, according to survey results published by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) today.

Conducted by Amárach Research among 1,000 consumers, BOIPA—a payments technology alliance between Bank of Ireland and EVO Payments International—commissioned the survey to establish consumer trends when paying for everyday items.

The research found that the average contactless payment is €11.33. Despite this, 42% of those surveyed would like to see the €30 limit on contactless payments increased, while a further 45% were unable to correctly identify the current limit at all.

The survey found that time saving was the biggest advantage to using contactless payment, with 58% saying it was ‘quick’. Other advantages cited in the survey include safety, lower bank charges and the convenience of not having to carry cash or go to an ATM.

57% use contactless payments at least once a week with 45% of users using contactless a few times a week or more.

While more and more people are using contactless—which is most common among 25 to 44 year olds—one in three are unaware of what the contactless symbol on debit cards represents.

38% claim to not have contactless payment ability with their card while 28% never think to use it.

The top five items we pay for using contactless payments are: food and groceries (75%); fuel (23%); alcohol (21%); clothes and shoes (21%) and newspapers and magazines (17%).

The survey found that debit cards are twice as common as credit cards, with 88% owning a debit card versus 43% owning a credit card.

Those aged between 35 and 44 are most likely to own a debit card (91%) while those aged over 55 are most likely to own a credit card (59%).

Commenting, Brian Cleary, General Manager, BOI Payment Acceptance, said:

“There are over 3 million contactless debit or credit cards in Ireland and usage is growing rapidly. Despite contactless technology being available for less than three years, over 50% of people are now using the technology with 45% of people doing so multiple times per week. Amongst our own clients, contactless transactions now account for between 25% and 50% of all transactions, depending on the sector. This suggests consumers have been very quick to adopt the technology and recognise its ease of use.

“Despite almost 40% of those surveyed claiming not to carry a contactless card, in reality approximately 90% of all debit cards in Ireland are now contactless. This suggests one of the key steps in growing contactless payments is to raise consumer awareness of the technology and its benefits.

“Currently over 35,000 Irish businesses offer contactless payment facilities and contactless is very quickly becoming the norm for consumers and business alike. Over the next five years we expect to see an accelerated reduction in cash transactions as businesses realise the clear advantages of contactless, namely the ability to process more transactions, benefit from reduced cash handling costs and a lesser exposure to theft and misappropriation of cash.”

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