“Due to the many technicalities involved there’s no central method by which this can be delivered, but rather it’s a case of all parties working together to ensure consumers can avail of the new limit of €50,” explained BPFI’s Head of Payment Schemes Gill Murphy.
“The demand for contactless payment is growing and we know that the demand for cash is down 20%,” said BPFI Chief Executive Brian Hayes, “At the end of last year consumers made more than 1.5 million contactless payments a day. In the current environment there is an even greater increase in the demand for using contactless payments.”
Retail Ireland has welcomed the move by banks to comply with the HSE’s recommendation to use contactless payments as much as practicable.
The move had been requested to reduce physical interactions at cash registers in the context of Covid-19.
“Normally, the banks would have security concerns around such a measure but we are now living in extraordinary times,” said Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon, “An increase to €50 is a step in the right direction and hopefully this can be raised further in the period ahead.”
This move by the banks makes it easier and safer for both consumers and retail staff to deal with the heightened demand, he said.
According to BPFI figures, the number of contactless credit and debit card payments grew by 26% year-on-year with nearly 141 million payments valued at more than €1.7 billion. In volume terms, an estimated 41% of all credit and debit card payments were contactless in Q4 2019, while 11% of the value of card payments were contactless.
In annual terms, there were 508 million contactless payments in 2019 valued at more than €6.1 billion, more than double the volume (224 million) and value (€2.8 billion) in 2017.