Consumers spent €1.7 billion online in March
New figures from the Central Bank show that there are more payment cards than people in this country, with just over six million active credit or debit cards in circulation.
In the first three months of the year, Irish people spent just over €1.7 billion using those cards – that is equivalent to the Government’s health budget for the whole year.
The Central Bank figures show that for every €10 we spent using a costly credit card, we spent €53 with a debit card.
In that three month period, Irish consumers conducted 244 million point of sale transactions using debit cards – that does not include taking cash out of ATMs .
The average spend using a debit card was just over €40.
Using credit cards, consumers here made 34 million transactions, with an average spend of €80 – suggesting that consumers use credit cards for more expensive things.
Debit card spending grew by 19% year on year in March, while credit card spending grew by 10%.
The Central Bank figures also reveal that Irish consumers are spending more on online shopping as well.
Consumers bought €1.7 billion worth of stuff on the internet in March alone – that is the cost of the National Children’s Hospital spent in just one month.
Online shopping now accounts for half of all credit card spending and a quarter of all debit card spending.
According to the Central Bank, we are also spending more on overseas trips.
On average €0.5 billion a month went through credit and debit cards physically used outside of Ireland, including ATM withdrawals.
That amounts to a total of €1.6 billion spent abroad in the first three months of the year, 7% more than the same time last year.
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