Visa has processed more than half a billion additional touch-free payments, where previously consumers would have needed to use a PIN pad, since contactless limits were increased in more than 29 countries across Europe.

It said contactless transactions rose by 15% year-on-year in Ireland alone, with the average purchase amount also increasing by over 25% due to the new contactless limit of €50 being introduced on 1st April earlier this year.

According to Visa, the growing demand for contactless is visible across Europe, where over 75% of in-store Visa payments are now contactless.

It said in some European countries, the share of Visa transactions that are contactless have more than doubled year-on-year and in many of the largest European nations, the share of Visa transactions that are contactless has increased by at least 20 percent in the past year.

Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager of Visa, said the increasing popularity of contactless payments in Ireland is not new.

"The pandemic has only served to accelerate an existing trend, only now touch-free payments are no longer a convenience, but a necessity," he said.

"When the global pandemic hit, we worked with our partners in Ireland to raise the contactless payment limit to €50 in April in order to help consumers pay more easily and securely and reduce the need to enter their PIN," he added.