Contactless payments reached new highs in August with more than 62 million payments valued at almost €990 million, according to the latest figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland.

The average number of contactless payments made per day rose to two million valued at almost €32 million, more than double the value of payments in April.

Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive said consumers have undoubtedly increased their use of contactless payments and reduced their dependence on cash in recent months. 

"Today's figures show a record breaking high in terms of monthly contactless spending with contactless payments accounting for half of all card payments in August 2020," he said. "We can also see that consumers are making higher-value contactless payments than before. The average contactless payment value is up from €12.51 in March to €15.93 in August. Some of this can certainly be attributed to the increase in the contactless limit to €50 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The shift from cash to digital payments is further highlighted when Central Bank of Ireland figures are taken into account. They show that the value of ATM withdrawals was 33% lower in August 2020 than a year earlier. 

"This once again this underlines the changing pattern in people's behaviour and the ongoing shift from cash to digital," Mr Hayes said. "And while part of this shift is down to necessity and convenience due to the impact of Covid-19, there is no doubt that behaviours are fundamentally changing and that and those who've become accustomed to paying by card will continue to do so."