A 40% increase in online shopping is expected this Christmas season, according to online payments company 3V Transaction Services.

Single men between the ages of 18 and 34 account for almost two-thirds of active online shoppers.

The average spend per online transaction has decreased from an estimated €36 to €32 in 2009 as Irish shoppers review their spending habits.

3V believes that the traditional online Christmas spending spree is likely to move forward from the first week of December into November this year.

3V says that 400,000 people are now buying its prepaid Visa vouchers to shop online. Its customer base has increased 45%.

The 3V voucher gives customers a disposable 16-digit Visa number that they can use online like a standard credit card.