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Forget flashing the cash...we're all paying with plastic these days

Ireland’s expenditure on Visa cards has hit an all time high of €21.3 billion.

Image: Credit card via Shutterstock

OUR PLASTIC FRIEND (or foe, or ‘frenemy’) is certainly a popular payment option in Ireland these days with last year’s spend breaking all previous records.

The annual expenditure on Visa cards (debit, credit and prepaid) was more than €21 billion last year, an 83 per cent increase on 2012 expenditure.

According to Visa Europe, which announced the figures today, this means that out of every €4 spent by Irish consumers last year, €1 of that was on a Visa card.

Cold hard cash no more?

The annual results for the year ending 30 September 2013 show a 45.3 per cent increase in the average number of transactions per card.

Over that time Visa Europe says “there were 358,173,000 Visa card transactions in Ireland, a 113.6 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure”.

So what’s making the plastic so darn popular? Visa Europe reckons it’s down to a few key reasons, including;

  • Irish people are now very comfortable making everyday purchases with cards
  • New payment technology like contact-less payments makes it easier for small purchases
  • The migration of many Laser cards to the Visa Debit scheme

What’s coming?

Visa Europe plans to roll out a few new technologies in the next year, such as Visa Personal Payments and V.me by Visa.

Visa Personal Payments is a service on your mobile that enables anyone with a Visa card to send money from their smart phone to another person using just their mobile number.

AIB recently launched an app, called Me2U, using the Visa Personal Payments mobile service.
V.me by Visa is a digital wallet that we access online and it takes out the need to enter card numbers, expiry dates, etc every time we want to make an online purchase. It is expected to launch here near the end of this year.

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