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Irish debit card usage quadruples while cheque usage halves

Irish debit card usage quadruples while cheque usage halves

Irish consumers continued to change their payment habits in 2013, switching to debit card usage and reducing the number of cheques used when paying for goods and services.

Since 2005, debit card usage has more than quadrupled while cheques have declined for the 8th consecutive year. Fewer than 70 million cheques were used in Ireland in 2013, close to half the 132 million cheques used in 2005.

Although still one of the highest users of cash in the EU – making an average of almost €4,500 in cash withdrawals per capita in 2013 (2nd highest in the EU) – the volume of cash being paid out of ATMs in Ireland dropped by €5.3 billion, from €28.7 billion in 2008 to €20.4 billion in 2013.

Debit cards continued to be the favoured payment instrument for consumers in 2013 with a 10% growth to 341 million purchases and a 14% rise in the value of debit card sales to €17.6 billion; up from 309 million and €15.4 billion respectively in 2012.

A graph showing Debit Cards - Annual Transaction Volume in Millions

Debit Cards – Annual Transaction Volume in Millions

Credit cards, on the other hand, saw a decline of just under 5% in 2013, continuing a trend that can be seen in many countries arising from a growing preference for debit cards.

The total spend on payment cards in Ireland last year was €28 billion, 35% higher than the total value of cash withdrawn from ATMs which was €20.4 billion.

Direct debits and credit transfers were adopted in greater numbers during 2013 with a record 140 million electronic credits made, worth €180 billion and 109 million electronic debits, valued at €96 billion.

A graph showing Cheques Issued in Ireland - Annual Volume in Millions

Cheques Issued in Ireland – Annual Volume in Millions

Key Payments Statistics for 2013:

  • Cheque payments reduced from 132 million in 2005 to fewer than 70 million in 2013
  • More than 400% growth in debit card sales since 2005; from 79 million to 341 million
  • Debit card sales worth €17.6 billion in 2013
  • Credit card sales down 5% in 2013 compared to 2012
  • Combined credit and debit card spend was €28 billion, 35% higher than the total value of cash withdrawn from ATMs
  • Number of credit cards is 2 million and number of debit cards exceeds 4.3million
  • Average cash withdrawal per capita was €4,449 (2nd highest in EU)
  • €20.4 billion withdrawn from ATMs in 2013, down by €8.3 billion since 2008
  • A record 140 million electronic credits were made, worth €180 billion
  • There were 109 million electronic debits in 2013 valued at €96 billion

“The fact there is a clear trend towards greater usage of debit cards as well as a steady decline in cheques is a sign that Ireland is embracing a new era in payments and it will further benefit customers, retailers and businesses across the country as the speed and efficiency of payments further improve,” comments Noel Brett, Chief Executive, IBF/IPSO.

“One of the major initiatives of The National Payments Plan, “e-Day” will see the end of cheque usage between the public sector and businesses from September 19th this year. This should encourage SMEs to migrate away from cheque usage and help boost Ireland’s competitiveness as SMEs are currently issuers or receivers of more than 60% of all cheques in Ireland.”

The post Irish debit card usage quadruples while cheque usage halves appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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