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Credit and debit card statistics – Ireland 2021

Irish credit and debit card statistics, including average spend per card.

Credit and debit card statistics in Ireland

In Ireland, consumer activity around credit cards is increasing rapidly. As of March 2022, there were 1,866,454 credit cards in Ireland with new purchases of €1,030,112,000, and 5,715,242 debit cards with new purchases of €6,793,323,000. So, how does Ireland’s credit and debit card spending break down?

The average monthly spend for both cards has been following a slight upward trend up until April 2020, where we saw a fall in consumer confidence around the time COVID-19 had arrived on Irish shores. The spend per debit card fell from €1,415 in December 2019 to only €800 in April 2020. It has since recovered to €1,444 in December 2020, with credit cards following a similar trend.

The data covering ATM withdrawals and debit card transactions at the point of sale (POS) has followed a similar trend, with a dip post COVID-19 and a recover after. However, as paying with cash is becoming less popular, the use of debit cards for Point of Sale (POS) transactions is increasing. In January 2015, €1.3b was withdrawn from Irish ATMs, and €1.8b in goods was paid for with debit cards. As of March 2022, that gap has widened significantly, with the value of POS transactions increasing threefold to €5.7b and the volume of cash withdrawn from ATMs falling to €1.1b.

Credit and Debit Card spending proportion

Almost half of the total spending on debit cards and personal credit cards is for retail (i.e. groceries, clothing, electrical goods, and hardware).

Credit Cards
Debit Cards

E-commerce expenditure has been increasing in Ireland. In March 2022, of the total e-commerce expenditure, €2.6 billion was attributed to debit cards, while €442 million was attributed to credit cards. Online spending using debit cards has been trending upwards since 2015.

More and more people are looking to debit cards for their everyday spending, and the number of these cards on issue hit a peak in January 2022, with 5.7 million debit cards in circulation. The same can’t be said for credit cards, with the number of credit cards never surpassing 2 million. In March 2022, there were 1,866,454 credit cards in circulation around Ireland.

This page forms part of Finder’s global insights content. For more data and statistics, contact Graham Cooke, Head of Consumer Research (International) at Finder.

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