The latest figures from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland show the value of contactless payments reached a new high of €1.9 billion in the second quarter of the year, 26.6 % higher than in the same period last year.

Spending grew despite volumes dipping to 123 million, the lowest level since the first quarter of 2019, and 1% lower than a year earlier.

Consumers increased their use of contactless payments as cash usage fell and with the contactless limit increasing to €50 during April in response to the Covid-19 crisis, the average payment value jumped from €12.51 in March to €15.57 in June.

Daily contactless spend reached a new monthly high of €27.7 million in June, having dropped as low as €15.7 million in April.

Speaking on the latest figures, Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive said the figures highlight demand for "fast, simple and secure" payments.

"It is likely this growth is in part a result of the increase in the contactless limit to €50, a significant undertaking at the time by BPFI members who worked hard deliver this in collaboration with a number of parties," he said.

Mr Hayes added that the increase in contactless payments reflects a wider recovery in the economy, and in the retail and hospitality sectors in particular.

"We would expect contactless payments to continue to grow in the months ahead in line with consumer spending," he said.