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The Cards and Payments Industry in Ireland: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2020

The Cards and Payments Industry in Ireland: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2020

  • May 2017
  • 59 pages
  • ID: 3994848
In this report:
According to the central bank, the interest rate on credit cards was ##.##% in June 2015, compared to rates for term loans which were ##.##% and ##.##% for secured and unsecured loans respectively during the same period.
After the initial recovery following the global economic crisis, real GDP growth peaked at ##.##% in 2015, primarily due to a rise in investments from foreign companies, and surge in imports of aircraft by aircraft lease operators.


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The Cards and Payments Industry in Ireland: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2020


Cash has been a preferred instrument for consumer payments, accounting for 55.70 percent of the global payment transaction volume in 2016. However, its use is anticipated to decrease as electronic payments grow. Government initiatives to encourage card payments, a surge in contactless payments and consumer preference for emerging payments, including digital and mobile wallets, are all anticipated to reduce cash's share in favor of electronic payments over the forecast period.

Debit cards remain the preferred payment card among Irish consumers, accounting for 81.60 percent of the payment card transaction value in 2016. Growing consumer use of debit cards for low-value transactions, the increasing banked population, the government's launch of the National Payments Plan to encourage use of electronic instruments including debit cards over checks, the removal of stamp duty on ATM transactions, and the lowering of interchange fees to a minimal 0.10 percent were top factors supporting use of debit cards. High interest rates on credit cards and the ready availability of overdraft facilities shifted consumer preference towards debt-free financial products.

Overall, the credit card market registered a sluggish review-period Compound annual growth rate of ~0.6 percent in terms of transaction value. As bank lending slowed during the eurozone crisis, Irish consumers began to limit credit card spending. Banks also applied more stringent lending requirements, which increased the adoption of debit cards as consumers preferred to spend only what they had.

International merchant acquirers are entering the Irish payment cards market through alliances and acquisitions. US-based acquirer First Data, with AIB, entered into a partnership with China UnionPay in June 2014, to become the first merchant acquirer in Ireland to provide payment acceptance services for CUP debit and credit cards. In August 2014, Evo Payments, a leading merchant acquirer in North America continent and Europe (EU), partnered with Bank of Ireland to expand its merchant acquiring business in Ireland. The services are marketed through Bank of Ireland Payment Acceptance, which is primarily responsible for offering payment card solutions to Irish merchants.

E-commerce in Ireland posted a review-period Compound annual growth rate of ~11.8 percent, increasing from $7.70B (EUR7.3 billion) in 2012 to $12.00B (EUR11.4 billion) in 2016. Rises in online and smartphone penetration, the number of online shoppers and the availability of payment gateways supported e-commerce's growth in the country. Leading e-commerce websites in Ireland contain Linwoods Health Foods, James Whelan Butchers and McElhinney's Ballybofey Donegal. International e-commerce companies including eBay, Apple, Zynga.com and Amazon also have presences in the country.

The market research "The Cards and Payments Industry in Ireland: Emerging Trends and Alternatives to 2020" offers top-level market analysis, info and business insights into the Irish cards and payments industry.

Moreover, this business report enables the following -

- Current and forecast values for each market in the Irish cards and payments industry, including debit and credit cards.

- Detailed insights into payment instruments including credit transfers, checks, cash, direct debit and payment cards. It also, includes an overview of the country's main alternative payment instruments.

- E-commerce market analysis and payment methods.

- Analysis of several market drivers and regulations governing the Irish cards and payments industry.

- Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit and credit cards.

Firms mentioned in this industry report: AIB, BOI, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB, AvantCard, Visa, Mastercard.


- On January 1, 2016 the Irish government replaced stamp duty with a surcharge on ATM cash withdrawals, with an aim to discourage use of debit cards at ATMs and drive in-store payments. Until 2016, consumers were charged a flat annual stamp duty of US$2.6 (EUR2.5) on ATM cards, and US$5.3 (EUR5) on combinations of debit and ATM cards, irrespective of frequency of use. This is now replaced with a additional tax structure under which cardholders are charged US$0.13 (EUR0.12) per ATM cash withdrawal, with an annual cap of US$2.6 (EUR2.5) on ATM cards, and US$5.3 (EUR5) on combinations of debit and ATM cards. In contrast, debit card transactions at POS terminals are free of charge. This is anticipated to discourage card use at ATMs and to encourage the use of debit cards for in-store payments.

- In December 2015, the EU-wide cap on the interchange fee was implemented in Ireland. However, the Irish government implemented a debit card interchange fee cap of 0.10 percent, which is 50.0 percent lower than the standard EU cap of 0.20 percent. The interchange fee cap on credit cards, however, remains at the EU level of 0.30 percent. While the regulation is anticipated to substantially impact the profitability of card issuers and schemes, according to the Irish government the cap will help merchants save up to $37.90M (EUR36 million) annually, encouraging them to accept card-based payments.

- Irish consumer uptake of contactless technology is increasing. The Irish government increased the contactless payment limit from US$15.8 (EUR15) to US$31.6 (EUR30) from October 31, 2015, and on February 16, 2016, Visa Europe announced that 1 million contactless transactions on Visa cards were made every week in Ireland as a result of the increased limit, compared to 2 million transactions per month in September 2015. As of April 2017, around 3 million Visa contactless cards had been issued in Ireland are accepted by more than 20,000 merchants. Almost all main banks, including Kredietbank ABB Insurance CERA, Allied Irish Banks, Permanent TSB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank now offer contactless cards.

Great reasons to purchase

- Make tactical business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Irish cards and payments industry and each market within it.

- Comprehend the top market trends and growth opportunities in the Irish cards and payments industry.

- Assess the ambitious dynamics in the Irish cards and payments industry.

- Gain insights into marketing strategies used for different card types in Ireland.

- Gain insights into main regulations governing the Irish cards and payments industry.

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