The latest figures published this week by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) say December was another record month for contactless payments with the monthly value of contactless spending surpassing €1 billion for the first time.
The volume and value of contactless payments in the fourth quarter of 2020 meanwhile rose by 23.7% and 63.4% year on year to 174 million payments worth €2.8 billion.
While payments fell in November 2020, due in part to the Covid-19 restrictions imposed in late October, activity rebounded in December, when the monthly value of contactless payments exceeded €1 billion. Daily volumes rose to 2.1 million per day, surpassing the previous peak on 2.01 million in September, while daily values jumped to €36.5 million.
The BPFI say the growth in the value of payments was driven by a sharp increase in the average payment value to €17.36, up from €15.93 in August. There were about 5.1 contactless-enabled debit cards in issue and almost 1.7 million credit cards in issue by the end of December 2020.
Speaking on the figures, Chief Executive at BPFI, Brian Hayes said, "We have seen yet another record breaking month for contactless payments in December as consumer behaviour coupled with Covid-19 continue to reshape payment methods. As well as seeing the monthly spending value top €1 billion for the first time, we have also seen increases in both the volumes and value of contactless transactions on a daily basis."
He added, "These figures clearly demonstrate the growing demand for contactless payments, allowing consumers to conduct fast, simple and secure transactions during the current pandemic. However, in light of the level 5 restrictions introduced during the Christmas period, we will undoubtedly see an impact on contactless transactions and consumer spending in general as we move forward into 2021."