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Making it easy for customers: Half a million contactless payments in Ireland

Visa Debit predicts that there will be two million of them having taken place by the end of the year – eliminating €10 million in cash usage.

Image: Matt Crossick/PA Archive/Press Association Images

THEY MAY SEEM like something out of a sci-fi film, but contactless payments are here to stay – and they’re on the rise.

According to Visa Debit, there have already been half a million contactless payments in Ireland since the recent introduction of Visa Debit contactless cards.

Eliminating cash

Visa now predicts that two million contactless payments with Visa Debit cards will take place by the end of the year, which it says will eliminate approximately €10 million in cash usage in the next six months alone.

If you don’t have a contactless card, you might do by the end of the year, as by the close of 2013 it is estimated that 70 per cent of all Irish adults with bank accounts will have a Visa Debit contactless card.

Irish retailers including McDonalds, Insomnia, Arnotts, Boots, Centra, Marks and Spencer, Spar, Eurospar and Mace have already adopted the technology to date, with more retailers about to come on board.

Anyone with a Visa Debit contactless card can pay for transactions of €15 or less simply by touching their card to the terminal without the need to enter their PIN (personal identification number).

Visa says that these payments “are secured by the same advanced technology that underpins Chip and PIN and are also subject to the same level of consumer protection as all Visa cards”.

It also adds that since their introduction, Visa card fraud has continued to fall and is currently at its lowest ever level across Europe.

Convenience

Research carried out by Visa Europe revealed that 45 per cent of the public ranked the main benefit of contactless technology as quicker transaction speeds, while 37 per cent highlighted the convenience of not having to take cash out of an ATM. A further 18 per cent said that the main benefit would be not having to spend time looking for cash when making a purchase.

At the end of April 2013, there were 59 million contactless cards in circulation in Europe that can be used at 853,000 acceptance points across the area. It is expected that there will be 70 million contactless cards in Europe by 2014.

Conor Langford, Country Manager Ireland, Visa Europe, said:

Our research shows that Irish consumers spend 11.2 million minutes a day queuing in shops to pay for low value purchases. Contactless payments will help to reduce the time people spend queuing, allowing them to enjoy their purchase and offering an improved customer journey to retailers in the process.

Read: Contactless payments to cut the time you spend in a queue>

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