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Ireland Country Report

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  • Published Date: May 2022

IRELAND CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORT

A comprehensive 2022 overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Ireland, with clearsighted commentary backed by relevant data.
The commercial landscape is notable for the divergence between the limited range and nature of traditional bank offerings and the population's enthusiastic uptake of financial apps.
These provide instant transfers and innovative features, qualities long lacking in a pillar-bank hegemony that still depends on publicly funded support for viability.
Credit card profitability in Ireland is undercut by excise mandates but, with some market exits simplifying the scene, there seems room for adroit digital players to enter and build up a client base through crafted digital offerings.

What you will learn from this Ireland cards market report:

How Ireland has coped with the twin threats of Covid and Brexit.
How a cash-intensive economy has moved to electronic and digital methods.
BNPL moves, including regulatory curbs.
The effects on payments of neobanks Revolut and N26.
Which revenue sources dominate the unique profit pool mix.

IRELAND COUNTRY REPORT | KEY FACTS

  • Retail banking, consumer finance and payments in Ireland are largely dominated by Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks.
  • Both Ulster Bank and KBC Bank will be exiting the Irish market by the end of 2022, with Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland, respectively, taking over their Irish retail business.
  • The entrance of challenger bank Revolut into the market in 2019 has increased competition with its innovative app and immediate-payment features proving popular.
  • BNPL alternatives are becoming popular, with Australia's Humm and Swedish offering Klarna being the market leaders in this sector.
  • Contactless has been welcomed by Irish cardholders: three-quarters of all card-present transactions are now contactless.
  • With over forty percent of spend on Irish cards taking place online, e-commerce is driving card volume.
  • The market for credit cards is one of the most concentrated in Europe. Going into 2023, there will be only four issuers.
  • Visa will gain when Ulster's Mastercard-branded range moves to Permanent TSB's Visa line-up by 2023.
  • 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.

Ireland Payments Research | Report Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Irish 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: Card Payments Data

Appendix I: Demographic and economic indicators

Data table 1: Demographic and economic indicators: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 2: Ownership of key consumer devices: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 3: Internet usage by population: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.

Appendix II: Payments environment

Data table 4: Access points: 2016-2021. Estimates to 2023.
Data table 5: Account penetration: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 6: Consumer payment trends: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 7: B2C e-commerce payment methods: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix III: Cards market

Data table 8: Total cards payment metrics: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 9: Contactless cards metrics: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 10: Credit card numbers: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 11: Total credit cards metrics: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 12: Credit cards profitability indicators: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 13: Debit cards numbers: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 14: Debit cards metrics: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 15: Prepaid/e-money cards metrics: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

Data table 16: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2017-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.

Appendix V: Profit pool

Data table 17: Ireland market profit pool: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2024 including credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).

Appendix VI: Card networks

Data table 18: Networks' credit card market shares: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 19: Networks' credit card numbers: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 20: Networks' credit card billed volume: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 21: Networks' number of credit card transactions: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 22: Networks' average credit card transaction value: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 23: Credit card interchange fees by network: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 24: Networks' debit card market shares: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 25: Networks' debit card numbers: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 26: Networks' debit card billed volume: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 27: Networks' number of debit card transactions: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 28: Networks' average debit card transaction value: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 29: Debit card interchange fees by network: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

Data table 30: Key credit card issuers' market shares by credit card numbers: 2018-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 31: Key issuers' market shares in credit card outstandings: 2018-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 32: Key debit card issuers' market shares by debit card numbers: 2018-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

Data table 33: Merchant acquirer credit card market share: Estimates for 2022.
Data table 34: Credit card merchant service charges: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 35: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: Estimates for 2022.
Data table 36: Debit card merchant service charges: 2016-2021. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 37: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
Data table 38: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
Data table 39: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers: Estimates for 2022.
Data table 40: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions: Estimates for 2022.

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

Data table 41: Online merchant acquirer market share. Estimates for 2022.

Ireland Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
Ireland's economy has coped well with the twin threats of Covid and Brexit, again posting some of the strongest growth figures in the European Union at the end of 2021.

Payments Environment
Ireland has transformed rather quickly from being one of the most cash-intensive countries in Europe to one with a high penetration of electronic payments.

Cards market
The Irish payment cards industry has enjoyed strong growth in both billed volume and transactions over recent years ... Of total card purchase volume, just over half was spent on retail purchases during 2021.

Mobile Payments
While mobile devices are extensively used to make e-commerce purchases, mobile-based payment services have not penetrated widely, even though three in four inhabitants owned a smartphone at the end of 2021.

Profit Pool
With the market mired in a conservative lending environment, revenue opportunities for issuers are narrowing. The popularity of instalment-based lenders such as Klarna and Humm is also presenting more competition.

Card Networks
Ireland's credit cards market is represented by two international brands: Visa and Mastercard. This debit cards market has undergone huge change since 2014.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and Bank of Ireland (BOI) are the leading retail banking players in the market. Both are partially state-owned.

Acquiring and Processing
The country's rapid adoption of card over the last decade or so has made it an attractive growth market for acquirers ... A steady increase in card volume has resulted in strong organic growth.

Online Acquiring
Cards are the leading online payment method in Ireland and face increasing, albeit limited, competition from alternative payment methods.

Regulatory and Markets Information
Stakeholders in the country's banking and payments system are represented by the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), a strategic and technical support body.

Ireland Payments Report | Entities Referenced

AA
Advent International
Aer Lingus
AIB
AIB Merchant Services
AIBMS
Allianz
Allied Irish Banks
Amazon
American Express
An Post
Anglo-Irish Bank
Apollo Global Management
Apple Pay
Argos
Automobile Association
Avant Money
Avantcard
AXA
Bain Capital
Bank of America
Bank of Ireland
Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland
Bankinter
BNP Paribas
BoI
BOI Payment Acceptance
BOIPA
Boots
BPFI
Bunq
CCPC
Central Bank of Ireland
Central Statistics Office
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
CSO
Curve
Dell
Deloitte
Digital Business Ireland
Diners Club
EBS
Educational Building Society
Elavon
EML Payments Australia
euroConex
Europcar
European Banking Authority
European Union
EVO Banco
EVO Payments
Fidelity National Information Services
First Data International
FIS
Fiserv
Flexifi
Global Payments
Google Pay
GoREWARDS
H&M
Halifax
Hilton
Humm
IIB
Ikea
IMF
International Monetary Fund
International Telecommunication Union
Irish Intercontinental Bank
Irish Life & Permanent
Irish Nationwide Building Society
Irish Permanent
Irish Rail
ITU
JCB
KBC
Klarna
Laser
Laser Card Services
Lithuanian Deposit Guarantee Scheme
Maestro
Mastercard
MBNA
N26
National Lottery
NatWest
Neteller
Netflix
Nike
Nova Information Systems
Omnipay
Paddy Power
PayPal
Paysafe
Pepsi
PerfectCard
Permanent TSB
Post Office (UK)
PTSB
RBS
Realex Payments
Revolut
Ryanair
Samsung Pay
Skrill
Sky
Spotify
SumUp
Swirl
Ticketmaster
Trustee Savings Bank
TSB
TSYS
Ulster Bank
US Bancorp
Vantiv
Virgin Atlantic
Visa
Vodafone Ireland
Way2Pay
Wolfgang Digital
Worldpay

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