€4.8 billion worth of contactless payments were made in the third quarter of this year, the highest ever recorded.

New figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland show that between July and September, the value of contactless payments increased almost 26% compared to the same time last year.

There were over 285 million contactless transactions carried out during the third quarter, up almost 23% on the previous quarter.

On average, over three million contactless payments were made every day.

Today's data also shows that cheque volumes dropped to an all-time quarterly low since the data started being collected in 2008.

Cheque payment volumes fell by 7.3% compared to the same time last year to 4.5 million.

In contrast, online and mobile banking payments grew by 8.4% compared to the third quarter of last year, to 36.1 million.

That is the highest quarterly volume since those figures started being collected in 2016.

The report also shows that direct debit payments reached their highest quarterly volumes since the final quarter of 2019.

Direct debit volumes were up over 2% year-on-year to just under 36 million.

"As consumers continued to reduce their reliance on cash and cheques, card payments continued to grow strongly," said Gillian Byrne, Head of Payments at BPFI.

"The contactless share of payment volumes increased from 54% in the third quarter of last year to 59% in the third quarter of this year.

"Contactless payments accounted for 41% of the value of card payments in stores and other physical points of sale in the third quarter, up from 36% a year earlier," she added.