Realex Payments welcomes the Irish budget announcement of significant reductions for Irish retailers in the cost of accepting payment card transactions, as well as the removal of stamp duty on payment cards. These moves represent a significant step towards a cashless society in Ireland.

Minister Noonan announced a reduction in the interchange fees associated with accepting domestic Irish credit and debit card transactions, ahead of the introduction of new EU regulations. These regulations, which come into effect later this year, will cap interchange on credit and debit card transactions at 0.30% and 0.20% of transaction value respectively. The government’s announcement goes beyond these regulations by capping interchange on domestic debit card transactions at 0.10%, making Ireland one of the lowest-cost countries in which to accept debit card transactions. This is a significant move, as Irish consumers now spend twice as much on debit cards as they do on credit cards.

Minister Noonan also announced that the stamp duty on payment cards would be scrapped and replaced by a per transaction charge of €0.12 for ATM transactions. Irish consumers proportionally use much more cash than their European counterparts, withdrawing more than €20 billion every year. The elimination of stamp duty and the increase in the cost of ATM withdrawals will incentivise consumers to make more low value debit and credit card transactions and to carry less cash.

Together, these moves make card payment acceptance a far more cost effective option for retailers of all sizes, as well as driving adoption of card payments among consumers. This is a significant step towards realising the aims of the National Payments Plan, replacing usage of cash and cheques and creating a more secure and efficient payments ecosystem in Ireland.

Correction 15-10-15

This article originally stated that the UK had implemented an interchange cap for debit card transactions at 0.10%. In fact, at the time of writing the UK regulator has not confirmed the interchange cap that will apply to UK domestic debit transactions.