THE MAJORITY of the country believes that Ireland will be 'cashless' within five years, according to a new report.
A rise in contactless payment, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, has lead many to believe that Ireland will have little need for coins and bank notes in a few years, with around half the population supporting the notion of withdrawing cash from circulation by 2030.
88% of Irish consumers have used mostly card to pay for goods and services in-store during the pandemic, according to the report published today by BOI Payment Acceptance, an alliance between Bank of Ireland and EVO Payments International.
Less than half of all over-55s in Ireland say they used contactless payment frequently before the pandemic, but in the months since, 81% now admit that they use it frequently.
Although notes and coins are still in circulation, 54% of respondents believe Ireland will be cashless in the next five years or already consider themselves to be, while 20% of under-35s say they are cashless now.
The over-55s are the most likely to see themselves becoming cashless by 2025 (47%). Among that age group, 84% say that Covid-19 had had an influence on their decision to move away from notes and coins.
Almost half of all consumers believe that either some or all physical cash should be withdrawn from circulation in the next 10 years. Among that group, 48% say physical cash should be phased out because coins and notes are unhygienic and spread Covid-19.
Brian Cleary, Managing Director of BOI Payment Acceptance, said consumers are now using contactless payment on a massive scale.
"For the government, this report provides a glimpse into the future: Irish consumers are willing to embrace the cashless society, provided adequate supports are in place for vulnerable groups and rural regions."