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Mobile Money Takes Off as 78% of Irish People Use their Phones to Bank and Make Everyday Payments


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Mobile Money Takes Off as 78% of Irish People Use their Phones to Bank and Make Everyday Payments

  • Visa’s Annual Digital Payments Study finds mobile banking has become second nature to 68 percent of Irish consumers
  • Millennials are driving mobile money uptake as 89 percent bank, transfer money or keep track of their balance
  • Consumers feel more confident and secure using mobile payments than ever before

Dublin, 26 September 2017: Uptake of mobile devices to manage money, conduct banking and make payments is greater than ever, as 78% of Irish people now use their mobile devices to keep track of their finances and make everyday payments such as bills, parking and going out. Today, Visa (NYSE: V)released the findings of its annual Digital Payments Study[i], which looks at Irish consumer behavior around digital payments, ranging from contactless to online shopping as well as attitudes on privacy and security.


The growing number of digital payment options on mobile devices is encouraging consumers to find a Mobile Money[ii] solution that suits their lifestyle. This year’s study reveals that:

  • Over two-thirds of Irish people (68 percent) check their balance or access other services through a banking app. By comparison, in 2015 only 39 percent of people surveyed had a mobile banking app;
  • Almost four fifths (79 percent) have used a digital wallet (e.g. PayPal), a card-on-file service (where the website stores your payment details) or a mobile payment service such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay;
  • Consumers are feeling increasingly comfortable doing transactions on their mobile devices, moving away from desktops and laptops as half (50%) of Irish people use a mobile device to shop;
  • More than a third (37 percent) send money to friends and family using a smartphone or tablet.

Philip Konopik, Country Manager at Visa Ireland, said:

  • “Visa is committed to innovation and to working with a broad spectrum of partners to ensure that consumers have access to safe, secure digital payments wherever they are, on whatever device they wish to use. We are excited by the results of this survey and the confidence and enthusiasm that consumers have expressed for new ways to pay and to be paid, embracing the digital products and services that best fit their fast-moving lifestyle.”


Irish millennials are at the forefront of digital payment adoption with 89 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 years saying they are “Mobile Money users”.

  • 94 percent expect to be a Mobile Money user within three years’ time, compared to 77 percent of over 65s;
  • Millennials are also far more likely to bank online, 79 percent of millennials vs 68 percent of the Irish average;
  • They also lead the general population when it comes to using mobile devices to transfer money to friends and family with 51 percent doing so, compared to 37 percent of the Irish average.


When looking at the growth of digital payments, one of the key barriers to growth is comfort levels with mobile technology.

  • Concerns about privacy have marginally dropped from55 percent in 2016 to 51 percent in 2017;
  • Worries about security have seen a slight decrease, dropping from 65 percent in 2016 to 64 percent today.


While concerns of Irish consumers about privacy and security concerns in digital payments have decreased, biometric data as a method of authentication grows in popularity:

  • 89 percent of consumers express confidence in such measures as a secure form of authentication;
  • Those over 65 display a similar level of trust in biometric authentication as those within the 18 – 24 aged group (90 percent vs 91 percent);
  • Fingerprint and iris scanning are perceived as the most secure forms of biometric authentication (83 percent and 82 percent, respectively).
  • Despite the perception that people overshare aspects of their personal lives on social networks, Irish consumers draw a clear line when it comes to sharing personal data such as payment card or banking details.
  • Family members had the highest trust rating at 45 percent, followed by banks at 30 percent, and friends at 28 percent;
  • 89 percent of people surveyed expressed discomfort about sharing sensitive personal details with social media, with 68 percent who say they are uncomfortable sharing their card payment details and 70% who are uncomfortable sharing bank account details with social media networks;
  • 60 percent of respondents felt comfortable sharing their biometric details with banks and government agencies;
  • Just under two-thirds of those surveyed (61 percent) would not feel comfortable sharing their biometric data with social networks.

European merchants are increasingly installing new technology that supports payments with both cards and mobile (NFC) devices.

  • In Europe, the top five popular merchant categories for mobile payments are restaurants, supermarkets, transit, convenience food and drink, and leisure and entertainment;
  • When using their mobile device to make a purchase, European shoppers spend an average of €9 in store and €38 online;
  • When travelling abroad, Europeans have used their mobile device to make purchases in 103 countries around the world, demonstrating that people feel safe and secure using their smartphones or tablets when shopping in another country.
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[i]Visa commissioned the Digital Payments research with Populus. The research was conducted between June and July 2017 in 22 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. The total sample size was 42,308 consumers, with approximately 2,000 respondents per country.

[ii]Mobile money refers to usage of a smartphone, tablet or wearable to manage money or make a payment in person, online or in-app