Payments Snapshot in Ireland - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sector Impact

Payments Snapshot in Ireland - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sector Impact


The Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak, dubbed COVID-19, is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting millions of people globally. The contagious Coronavirus, which broke out at the close of 2019, has led to a medical emergency across the world, with the World Health Organization officially declaring the novel Coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Government measures to contain the virus have caused a significant negative impact on the country’s economy. However, with a phased reopening in progress, consumer spending is expected to rebound in the second half of this year, albeit not to pre-COVID-19 levels. The gradual revival of the economy will benefit the payments industry.

In response to the resulting economic fallout, the government announced a €3.1bn ($3.5bn) stimulus package on March 10, 2020 to be spent on social protection, health services, and liquidity funding for businesses. Two weeks later, the government announced the new COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, under which the government offered up to 85% for wage costs to businesses for 12 weeks.

This report focuses on the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on both the economyand the cards and payments industry in Ireland. Based on our proprietary datasets, the snapshotprovides a detailed comparison between pre-COVID-19 forecasts andrevised forecasts of total payment card, debit card, and credit card transactions by value and volume. It also offers information on measures taken by the government to combat Coronavirus.


  • Coronavirus will have a significant effect on consumer spending. Loss of income and increased unemployment due to the lockdown will have long-term implications affecting several sectors. According to the central bank, sectors such as distribution, transport, hotels, and restaurants will be the worst hit. The steep dive in consumer spending will also impact the payments industry. As per our 2019 Banking and Payments Survey, travel and accommodation accounted for 36% of the country’s total credit card transaction value in 2019. However, the country is gradually relaxing lockdown restrictions, which will boost consumer spending and thus benefit the payments industry.
  • With SMEs and large companies facing uncertainty and business travel coming to a temporary halt, a higher decline could be observed initially in commercial card transactions compared to personal cards. The number of business credit card transactions decreased by 58.0% in the first week of April 2020 compared to the same period of March 2020, whereas personal credit card transactions decreased by 34.3%. However, with many businesses having resumed their operations, the number of business credit card transactions increased by 34.6% in the first week of June 2020 compared to the same period of April 2020.
  • Ireland has a highly developed contactless payment market. As a result of the current scenario, the use of contactless cards for payments is expected to become even more popular in the country. According to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, on average €19.3m ($21.7m) worth of contactless payments were made per day during May 2020, a 7% increase from February 2020. The average contactless payment reached €15.30 ($17.18) in May 2020, up from €11.92 ($13.38) in February 2020. This was supported by the increased contactless payment limit, which now stands at €50 ($56.14) - up from €30 ($33.68) effective from April 1, 2020.
Reasons to Buy
  • Make strategic decisions using top-level revised forecast data on the Irish payment industry.
  • Understand the key market trends, challenges, and opportunities in the Irish cards and payments industry.
  • Receive a comprehensive insight into payments market in Ireland.

COVID-19 Update
Impact Assessment
Total Payment Card Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Debit Card Payment Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Credit and Charge Card Payment Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Job Analysis
Supplementary Data
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