A survey conducted by Amarach Research on behalf of card payment provider BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) among 1,000 Irish adults has found that almost three-quarters (73%) of Irish card holders use contactless payments, two-thirds at least weekly, with ‘millennials’ (25-34 year olds) being the most prolific users of contactless payments – 81% have used it at least once.
Furthermore, 43% of Irish consumers have at one stage intentionally avoided a shop that didn’t have card or contactless payment facilities, according to the research.
The research has also found that Irish people spent approximately €9 billion online in 2016 and this is expected to grow to €14 billion by 2021. In light of this growth in online sales, 53% of consumers still prefer shopping in person. An additional 21% favour online shopping and the remaining 26% have no preference.
Not surprisingly, online shopping proved most popular amongst millennials, with 33% favouring making online or in-app purchases on items including groceries, clothes, air travel, books and music versus 15% or less for those aged over 45. Interestingly, in the age of the smartphone, the majority of consumers (48%) conduct their online shopping via laptops, with a quarter (24%) favouring smartphones, followed by 17% on desktop and 11% on tablet.
In addition to the rapid proliferation of contactless payment services, mobile payment services, which allow consumers to pay for goods and services via their smartphone, have recently been adopted by some financial institutions in Ireland.
This usage is, however, still relatively limited. Only 12% of Irish consumers have used mobile payment services like Apple Pay or Android Pay, and this is highest among millennials (25%). However, of those that have used or do use mobile payments, it was narrowly preferred over payment with debit cards (50% vs 44%).
Commenting on the survey, Managing Director of BOIPA, Brian Cleary said, "Nearly half of those surveyed have at one stage intentionally avoided a shop that didn’t offer card or contactless payment facilities. This represents a sizeable loss of business for those yet to adopt this technology. In response to this finding, we have developed a trial product offering merchants the opportunity to trial our card terminals for six months. If they fail to see a minimum 10 percent growth in sales, they can cancel the service at no extra cost."
She added, "Furthermore, businesses are increasingly aware that consumers expect to have the option to buy products and services online or in person. The research suggests that business owners that are unable to sell their product online may be inadvertently pushing their customers into the arms of their competitors."