The Limit on Contactless Card Payments in Ireland increased from €30 to €50 in 2020.
This was done to encourage more contactless payments to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. The roll-out of this change was in place at most retailers by April 1st 2020 .
In the UK , the limit on contactless payments is rising to £100 pounds from 15 October 2021. We are not aware of any planned increases to the limit in Ireland.
Important – If you use phone payment apps such as Google Pay or Apple Pay – there are NO spending limits when using these for contactless payments.
Apple Pay provides a way of making contactless payments using your card with a smartphone. See Banks that have Apple Pay in Ireland
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
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 paymentsin 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 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. There is a maximum value for these card transactions, it started off at just €15. but the limit was raised to €30 from October 31st 2015 and is €50 from April 1st 2020
For amounts over this, you will always have to enter your PIN.
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).
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.
The limit on contactless payments in the UK is rising to £100 pounds from 15 October 2021. However – this probably won’t work with Irish bank cards.
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