Contactless payments mean shoppers are increasingly using debit cards as an alternative to cash.
New figures from the Central Bank show there was a 14pc rise in the value of spending on Visa and MasterCard debit cards in retail outlets in March, with a total of €2.7bn spent.
This amounts to an extra €331m transacted on debit cards.
New ‘tap-and-go’ features on debit cards that allow consumers to wave their card across a point-of-sale machine when paying are thought to be encouraging huge use of debit cards.
The contactless feature can be used for amounts up to €30 before a personal identification number has to be entered.
With a debit card you can only spend what you have in your current account, unlike a credit card where you can spend money you do not have.
Most of the debit card spending was on groceries.
Spending online, using debit cards, was up 31pc in March, although this was lower than in January.
In March, some €857m was spent online using debit cards, the Central Bank said.
However, online shopping using a credit card is increasing. It was up by 11pc in the past year to €407m at the end of March.
The use of credit cards in general is also on the rise, but only slightly.
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