Ireland is moving faster to cashless shopping than its eurozone neighbors

Cash is quickly being dethroned as king as Irish consumers increasingly switch to cards and mobile apps.

A survey by the European Central Bank shows that people in the 19-strong euro zone are also among the most productive online shoppers.

A majority (54%) of Irish consumers’ in-store transactions were made in cash in 2022, while 37% were made by card. Cash use is down 14 points from 2019 and below the eurozone average of 59 percent in 2022.

A further 6 per cent of Irish consumers bought goods and services in-store via mobile apps such as Apple or Google Pay, while the remaining 3 per cent used other means such as cheques, loyalty points or vouchers.

In terms of transaction value, 44 per cent of Irish consumers used cash and 39 per cent used cards. Again, 6pc used a mobile app while 10pc used other means.

Cash use has fallen the most in southern Europe since 2019, but increased in France and Luxembourg, measured by the value of transactions.

The data comes just weeks after the Treasury Department’s retail banking review suggested legislation could force shops and cafes to accept cash payments in the future to underpin new rules for banks.

Banks must offer customers “reasonable access to cash” under a bill that the ministry is expected to present next year.

“The ECB is committed to ensuring that consumers have the freedom to choose how they pay now and in the future,” said ECB Executive Board member Fabio Panetta.

“We are seeing confirmation of strong demand for both cash and digital payments. Our commitment to cash and our ongoing work towards a digital euro should ensure that paying with public money is always an option.”

Meanwhile, the use of online payments in Ireland is among the highest in the eurozone, according to the ECB.

The ECB’s latest study on consumer payment behavior shows that the share of online payments in Ireland was 21 percent in 2022, more than double the eurozone average and double the rate in 2019. Ireland lagged behind Belgium comes second – and so does Austria – when it comes to online shopping.

In terms of value of payments, online payments accounted for 28 per cent of Irish consumers’ one-off payments, which is in line with the eurozone average. Ireland is moving faster to cashless shopping than its eurozone neighbors

Fry Electronics Team

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