Irish people are switching to debit cards from cash and are making more electronic payments through their online banking accounts.

However, Ireland still lags behind its European counterparts in relation to electronic payments, according to the the Irish Payment Services Organisation.

The value of all non-cash transactions totalled 36% in 2010, compared to 96% in the EU where consumers have for many years been using electronic means of payments.

Consumers in Ireland use ATMs more than in any other EU country, making an average of 40 withdrawals, totalling almost €5,000 per head last year.

IPSO says that more people are using internet banking services over the past four years with over 2.8 million customers now registered for online banking.

Irish people made 10.7 million online payments in the first quarter of 2011, a 17% increase on the same time last year.

The organisation also reveals that the volume of cash being paid out of ATMs here dropped by over €3bn to €22.3bn in 2010, while the number of new debit cards issued exceeded 330,000 in 2010 to bring the total number to 3.4 million.

IPSO says that the number of debit card transactions - at over 200 million in 2010 - now exceeds the number of ATM withdrawals.

The total spend on cards in Ireland last year was €22.8bn, compared to the €22.3bn in ATM withdrawals.