Increasing trend towards card over cash continues

Value of debit card transactions expected to surpass ATM withdrawals for the first time in 2015

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) is forecasting that the value of debit card transactions is likely to exceed the amount withdrawn from ATMs for the first time in 2015.

The total number of debit card payments increased by 13.4% during 2014. That translates into 386 million individual transactions, with a value of €19.9 billion.

At the same time €20.3 billion in cash was withdrawn from ATMs – or an average of €56 million per day - during 2014, representing a 0.5% decline from 2013.  In volume terms, 163.1 million withdrawals were made from the country’s ATMs during 2014, representing a 2.6% reduction from 2013.

These trends have been constant in recent years. The average annual increase in the value of debit card transactions between 2010 and 2014 was 14.7%, while the average annual decrease in ATM withdrawals was 2.2% over the same period.

BPFI believes that there is significant potential for further migration away from cash to cards in 2015, not least in the area of contactless payments, given the increasing availability and use of contactless cards and related infrastructure.

By 2014, personal card payments were equivalent to 33% of personal consumption expenditure (PCE), based on figures from the Central Statistics Office, up from 19% from 2005 – see the chart below. However, credit card transactions declined by 1.3% in 2014, continuing a downward trend since 2011.

While there are a number of indicators pointing to a shift away from cash to cards, cash still remains the most common consumer payment method in Ireland. However, reliance on cash for low-value transactions is likely to lessen in the coming year with the wider availability of contactless cards.

The following is a summary of the data compiled by BPFI:


Article Published: 14/04/2015