The latest figures from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show a strong recovery in the value of contactless payments in May as spending reached almost €600 million, the highest monthly total to date.
On average, consumers made €19.3 million worth of contactless payments per day during May up 7% on figures in February before COVID-19 hit. In volume terms, contactless payment usage was 1.25 million, down from 1.51 million ‘taps’ per day in February.
While this is unexpected due to the lockdown and restrictions on movement during March through to mid-May, overall the figures indicate that consumers are spending more than before through contactless payments with the May figures accounting for the highest value on record this year.
With the contactless limit increased to €50 during April in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the figures also show an increase in the average contactless transaction which reached €15.30 in May, up from €11.92 in February.
Speaking on the latest figures, Chief Executive BPFI, Brian Hayes said, "The volume of contactless payments were down in May when compared to February before COVID-19 hit, however this must be seen in the context of the restrictions which only started to ease during the second half of May. With the recent acceleration of the reopening roadmap and the resulting uplift which has been seen in retail and hospitality spending in particular, we would expect that contactless volumes should show a recovery in the months ahead as more restrictions are lifted."
He added, "This is further supported by research carried out by BPFI recently which shows that 92% of all adults have now used contactless payments with one third of adult using contactless as their preferred method of payment in cafes and over a quarter preferring contactless when grocery shopping."