Contactless Payments Are Making a Significant Impact in 2015

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22 Jul 2015

Posted in:  Everyday Banking

It’s been interesting to watch the growth of contactless payments since 2012. This is one more chapter in the story of how technology is changing our economy. Cash is not dead, but its usage is being slowly eroded away and contactless payments are making a significant impact.

What are contactless payments?
A transaction is carried out by touching your contactless card at a retailer’s contactless reader and holding it until you hear the beep. No pin is required and it is a quick, convenient and safe payment method designed for low value transactions.

Are many people using contactless payments?
Since 2012 the number of contactless payments carried out by AIB customers has grown from zero to almost one million transactions per month. Month on month growth has been seen in 29 out of the past 32 months and it looks set to continue as more retailers start to offer it as a payment option.

Where are they being used?
Contactless transactions are now happening all over the country. Snacks and groceries are the most commonly purchased items using this form of payment.

Who has been using contactless payments?
In short, a lot of people have been using contactless payments. More than one third (39%) of payments like this in 2015 so far have been carried out by people born in the 1980’s. These people represent a kind of ‘sweet spot’ in terms of suitability for contactless payments in that they are old enough to earn money but yet young enough to be open to a new technology. However, there are some older people who are also moving to contactless with 2% of contactless payments made so far in 2015 being carried out by people born before 1940.

The gender breakdown of usage is quite evenly balanced, with men making 51.1% of payments and women making 48.9%. This is reflected in the gender breakdown of Ireland’s population as a whole, where the population of males (49.5%) is slightly less than the population of females ( 50.5%) (Source CSO data].

What’s next for contactless?
More retailers are now coming on board and we’re expecting an even greater uptake after the transaction limit is moved from €15 to €30 at the end of October 2015. The story continues to develop as technology changes the economy in big and small ways.

Notes on data sources: The population data is obtained from the CSO, all other results are obtained using internal AIB data.

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