Visa has revealed that contactless payments are surging in popularity as Irish consumers are making more than three million contactless payments with Visa debit cards every week. Usage has almost tripled since the end of March 2016, with weekly transactions jumping from 1.3 million contactless payments per week to just over 3 million payments at the end of last year. As a result, five contactless transactions are made with Visa cards every second in Ireland.

The spike in usage is driven by both the increase in the payment threshold from €15 to €30 as well as wider adoption of contactless payment terminals by retailers.

The news comes as the Irish Cancer Society gets set to introduce contactless donations on its 30th annual Daffodil Day, taking place tomorrow. The move makes Daffodil Day the first national ‘flag day’ collection in Ireland to provide the service to donors. The ‘Tap to Give’ contactless donation devices will offer the public a quick and hassle-free way to donate, even if they have no change in their pockets.

The devices will be available to use at St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre and Frascati Shopping Centre, in Blackrock, in Dublin, as well as Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre in Cork and Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre in Limerick. All money raised will go towards funding the Society’s free cancer services and vital research.

Commenting on the new milestone, Philip Konopik, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa, said: “Visa is always looking to launch new and innovative ways to pay, reflective of how consumer habits are evolving. We are delighted to help support the Irish Cancer Society with Daffodil Day by enabling donations with a Visa contactless debit card or by smartphone, which would have potentially been missed out on before. The latest contactless statistics highlight that consumers are increasingly looking to touch and pay, so it’s great that they are able to donate to such a good cause as easily as paying for a cup of coffee.”

Elavon is providing the contactless donation boxes to enable the Irish Cancer Society to accept card payments through the devices.

Mary Ferns, Night Nursing Manager, Irish Cancer Society, added: “The Irish Cancer Society is delighted to partner with Visa and Elavon on this great new way to donate to Daffodil Day. Without the public’s generous support the Society would not be able to run its services to cancer patients and their families. These services include the Society’s Night Nursing service, which provides end of life care for cancer patients and their families in their own home. In 2016 our Night Nurses delivered over 8,000 nights of care to cancer patients. Through contactless donations and fundraising across the country, we hope that the public will once again show the support for our work through giving generously this Daffodil Day.”

“We are delighted to support the Irish Cancer Society on Daffodil Day. Anyone wishing to donate can now do so simply via their card or mobile wallet (phone) making donations quick & easy, without the need to carry cash”, commented Eric Horgan, Elavon Country Manager.

In recent months, new contactless payment methods have also been introduced with the launches of Android Pay and Apple Pay. Consumers are embracing mobile with Visa’s 2016 Digital Payment study revealing that over 80% of people (age 18-24) in Ireland already use their mobile device to monitor their money or make payments.

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