The increase in the contactless card payment limit in October 2015 has had a transformative effect on consumer spending habits with Visa debit cards in Ireland, according to new analysis from Visa Europe. The limit was increased from €15 to €30 on the 31st of October 2015 and has generated significant growth in contactless payments overall, with the number of weekly transactions with Visa debit cards doubling from over 600,000 to 1,300,000 in the space of six months up to the end of March. As a result, two contactless transactions with a Visa debit card are now made every second in Ireland, with usage rates continuing to rise.

The increase in the payment threshold from €15 to €30 had a significant impact on the growth rate, with the number of transactions between €15.01 and €30 with Visa debit cards growing sixteen fold since its introduction. The new limit further increased the appeal of contactless payments as it broadened the basket of goods that could be purchased with the technology, with consumers now able to purchase an item of clothing or small basket of shopping in a supermarket with their debit card.

More retailers continue to adopt contactless payments and it is available across the country in stores such as Topaz, McDonalds, Insomnia, Arnotts, Boots, Centra, Marks and Spencer, Spar, Eurospar, Mace, H&M, Burger King, KC Peaches, O’Briens Sandwich Bars and Munchies. The usage rate in petrol stations and in convenience stores has quadrupled and more than doubled in bars and nightclubs.

The increase in the payment threshold has enabled Topaz to become one of the top ten contactless retailers in Ireland. Commenting, Eilis Firth, Re.Store Brand Manager, Topaz, said: “At Topaz, we want to make things easier for our customers. Visa contactless enables this through quick and more convenient transactions in all of our stores and we’ve seen huge benefits to our business as a result.”

Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager, Visa Europe said: “The popularity of contactless payments in Ireland continues to soar, with over 25 million transactions with Visa debit cards made in six months. With contactless technology, Visa is also building the foundations for the future of payments in Ireland as the same terminals will accept transactions by mobile and wearable devices. The increase in usage also demonstrates our commitment to the Government’s National Payments plan to help boost the number of electronic payments in Ireland.”

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