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Martin Keene/PA Wire

Visa card spending in Ireland up by 48pc last year

Irish people spent €13 billion on Visa cards last year, while the number of transactions on Visa cards grew by 76 per cent.

IRISH PEOPLE increased the amount they spent on Visa cards by 48 per cent in 2011, according to data published by Visa Europe this morning.

The data showed that €13 billion was spent on Visa-branded credit and debit cards last year, which Visa said accounted for around one-eighth of all consumer spending in Ireland.

This was helped by the increase in the number of cards in circulation – with a 28 per cent bump meaning there are now 3.4 million cards in use.

The overall number of transactions was up by 76 per cent in total, with 157.9 million transactions made over the 365 days of 2011.

The number of Visa-branded cards in circulation here is likely to increase further in the coming years, as both Bank of Ireland and AIB are set to roll out Visa debit cards to current account customers.

The newer generation of cards allow for ‘contactless payment’ – meaning the user does not have to take their card out of their wallet in order to use it for payment. 30 million contactless cards have been issued throughout Europe, a number which is set to rise to 50 million this year.

This year Visa also expects to launch a new ecommerce ‘digital wallet’ which is compatible with forthcoming generations of mobile phones which are compatible

Visa separately said that its fraud losses throughout Europe reached an all-time low last year, with fraud now accounting for less than 4c in every €100 spent.

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