Contactless Payments in Ireland

Contactless card payment means you can pay for small purchases (€50 and under) in most retailers by holding your debit or credit card beside a keypad without having to enter your PIN.For added security, you will be asked to enter your PIN after a certain number of uses. 

What is the Limit on Contactless Card Payments in Ireland?

There is a maximum value for Contactless Payments in Ireland – for cards , it started off at just €15. but the limit was raised to €30 in October 2015 .
The Limit on Contactless Card Payments in Ireland was increased to €50 in April 2020. The limit was increased to encourage more contactless payments and help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
For card payments over €50 – you will always have to enter your PIN.

In the UK , the limit on contactless payments rose to £100 pounds from 15 October 2021. We are not aware of any planned increases to the contactless card limit in Ireland.

Is there a Daily Limit on Contactless Transactions ?

There isn’t a daily limit for the number of contactless payments. However, from time to time, when you shop using contactless payments, you’ll be asked to put your card into the machine and enter your PIN to verify it’s you, before you can use contactless again. This is part of EU regulations to help prevent fraud.

Contactless Payment Limits On Phones

How much can you tap on your phone?

If you use smartphone payment apps such as Google Pay or Apple Pay – there are NO spending limits when using these for contactless payments in Ireland.

Apple Pay provides a way of making contactless payments using your card with a smartphone. See Banks that have Apple Pay in Ireland
Apple Pay does not have a limit on contactless transactions, provided there is enough credit on the linked card. You will need to authorise every transaction by Touch ID or your passcode.

Google Pay on smartphones is also available with many debit/credit cards in Ireland for contactless payments . See Which Banks Use Google Pay in Ireland.
Google Pay allows transactions over €50, there is no limit on Google Pay contactless payments in Ireland – provided the available balance or credit limit exists.  You will need to unlock the phone to spend over €50 . Although – there may be some shops in Ireland where the contactless terminal may not allow transactions above €50. (Tesco has been known to have limits in some stores.)

Popularity of Contactless Payments

Figures published by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) showed that 2.4 million contactless payments were made per day in June 2021,

The number of contactless payments in Ireland increased by 62% year on year to €199 million in Q2 2021 with the value rising by 68% to almost €3.2 billion. This is the highest quarterly volume and value since BPFI started collecting this data in 2016.

KBC, AIB, PTSB and Bank of Ireland have offered  Contactless Payments in Ireland with their Visa debit cards for around 5 years now.  Ulster Bank was a bit slower – but they also started offering contactless payments on debit cards in 2016.  EBS only started offering contactless debit cards in June 2019.
N26 is a new online bank – and their Mastercard also offers contactless payment.

Most of the major retailers in Ireland now accept contactless payments

Contactless Security

Using contactless payment does have the advantage of paying without worrying about someone else seeing you key in your pin.
It is also safer in terms of viruses on cash and payment machines.

The payment chip in the cards monitors all contactless payments made and if it detects several consecutive payments, it will ask the user to make a chip and PIN payment, to confirm it is still in the hands of the legitimate owner. Together with the €30 limit, this restricts the potential losses as a result of fraud (for which the cardholder would not be liable).

Contactless Charges

Currently, bank charges for using contactless payments are mostly zero. See more figures on Bank Charges in Ireland.

Bank of Ireland and Ulster do charge – but just 1c per transaction. Bank of Ireland is suspending their contactless charge during the coronavirus emergency. The other banks don’t currently apply a charge.

Contactless Outside Ireland

The limit on contactless payments in the UK is £100 pounds from 15 October 2021. However – this won’t work with Irish bank cards when in the UK.

You can also use a contactless card to make payments outside Ireland.  One place where they are really handy is on the London underground and other public transport in London. All London buses and tubes accept contactless cards – you just swipe them at the ticket barriers (in and out) and the relevant charge is debited from your account in one transaction at the end of the day.    (You will also  incur the usual debit card charges for non Euro transactions.)

More Tips For Visiting London here

6 thoughts on “Contactless Payments in Ireland

  1. It will probably become more widespread as time goes on.
    All AIB and BOI Visa Debit cards should have the facility in 2013. It just needs more retailers to take it up to get consumers to use it.

  2. The limit should be increased to €100.
    Propose €50 has been set based on current average amount of €41 euro , however because the frequency of going to shops will greatly reduced the average value of purchase will exceed €50.
    A more appropriate limit should be €100

  3. Hi can contact less be use twice in one day Say 49e in dunnes and 50e in tescos
    or is the spend limited to 50e max per day



    • It’s €50 per transaction not €50 per day. Sometimes you may be asked for PIN if the bank systems want to make sure your card hasn’t been stolen if it gets used several times in a day.

  4. IV closed my bank account due to it and my PayPal being hacked. Is their a card system I can use without the bank?

    • How would you load money on to the card if you don’t have a bank account. Cash ??

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