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Ireland Country Report

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  • Published Date: October 2019

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Ireland.

What you will learn from this report:

  • How the popular enthusiasm for debit cards has affected the market
  • The key relationships shaping market shares for global schemes
  • How stamp duty on credit cards affects cardholding patterns
  • The transformative role of contactless
  • How alternative forms of digital payment are progressing

Ireland Cards and Payments Market Key Facts

  • Ireland's economy has recovered well in recent years, posting the strongest growth figures in the European Union. However, uncertainty around Brexit continues to temper optimism.
  • Retail banking, consumer finance and payments in Ireland are largely dominated by the two major domestic banks: Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks.
  • The entrance of credit unions into the current account market in October 2019 will increase competition. Credit unions are highly trusted by a large segment of the population.
  • There has been a clear shift away from cash to debit cards in Ireland. Debit card purchase volume doubled between 2014 and 2018.
  • Contactless has been rapidly adopted by Irish cardholders: half of all card present transactions are now contactless.
  • E-commerce is another driver of growth in card volume. Over a third of spend on Irish cards takes place online.
  • Following a lost decade, the Irish credit cards market is showing signs of life, with rewards offerings improving and competition returning.
  • The market for credit cards is one of the most concentrated in Europe. At the end of 2018, the top five issuers had an estimated 97 percent market share of all credit cards in issue.
  • Mastercard is the leading credit card network, having broken Visa's long-held dominance by securing the Bank of Ireland portfolio in 2016.
  • Courtesy of agreements with most of the major banks, Visa dominates the debit card market. However, Mastercard has become the partner of choice for many of the newer entrants, such as digital banks and credit unions.

View the Ireland Country Report Table of Contents

Key facts
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e- commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile proximity payment metrics

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: The networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

Online merchant acquirer market share


Available for 72 markets, Verisk Financial Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.

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