Visa’s Irish operations had a record year in 2014 with €28.4bn being spent by consumers via the payments technology firm’s products.
The total covers use of credit, debit and pre-paid Visa cards; as relates to online and point-of-sale transactions. It marks a 32% rise on the previous year.
This fresh surge in Visa products, here, means that €1 in every €3 spent last year by Irish consumers was via a Visa card.
To put the company’s Irish growth into further context, 2013 saw €1 in every €4 spent via Visa, while that figure was €1 in every €11 in 2010.
According to Conor Langford Visa’s country manager for Ireland, the latest figures prove that Irish consumers are becoming much more savvy and trusting of electronic payments as a substitute for cash.
“The record expenditure on Visa cards highlights that electronic payments are continuing to go from strength to strength in Ireland,” he said.
“Our ambition, over the next 12 months, is to continue to drive the momentum behind consumer and retailer adoption of electronic payments.
“For example; last month we celebrated the 10 millionth Visa contactless transaction and we expect that contactless payments will be ubiquitous in the near future,” Mr Langford added.
Online spending in Ireland via Visa cards grew 30% to reach a record of €5.6bn. About 20% of spending with Visa cards is done online and Irish cardholders are spending nearly €4m online every minute of an average day, reflecting the rising popularity of online shopping.
Last year’s total number of transactions via Irish Visa cards grew by nearly 40% to 503 million transactions. The average transaction value was €56.40.
This was down by almost 5% on the previous year, but showed that cardholders are now becoming more comfortable with using cards for everyday low value transactions, instead of just cash.
There was a 32% increase in card usage for point-of- sale transactions and contactless, or card-swipe technology-enabled transactions, now number 10 million in the past couple of years, displacing €80m in cash transactions over that timeframe.
According to Visa, “the stars are aligned for digital payments”, with technology, retail partnerships, investment and consumer demand all in place.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for payments and 2015 promises to be a year full of opportunities.
“We will further eat away at the 70% of transactions that are still settled in cash in Europe,”said Nicolas Huss, chief executive of Visa Europe.
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