Budget 2016: Contactless payment max to increase from €15 to €30

13 Oct 2015

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD appeared to be putting greater emphasis on a cashless future for Ireland with the news from Budget 2016 that the maximum single charge on contactless payments will increase from €15 to €30.

The Budget 2016 announcement by Minister Noonan put emphasis on supporting Irish retailers in terms of the processing and costs of electronic payments in Ireland with the contactless payment changes.

In particular, greater savings are to be had by retailers in debit card payments compared with credit card ones, as the former will see the interchange fee imposed on transactions reduced to 10 basis points.

Meanwhile, credit card transactions for retailers will meet the new EU regulation by halving the interchange fees to 30 basis points.

The Government says these reductions will save retailers an estimated €36m per year in fees and will take effect in the build-up to the Christmas rush on 9 December.

ATM/debit stamp duty abolished

There certainly won’t be any scary surprises for retailers or customers this Halloween with the official introduction of the doubling of the max single contactless payment to €30 commencing on 31 October.

However, there was no mention of any changes with regard to the maximum of three contactless transactions which, after this amount is reached, requires a PIN to be entered or a withdrawal cash from an ATM.

Certainly of particular interest to consumers will be the removal of the €5 stamp duty on debit and ATM cards.

Instead, from 1 January 2016, there will be a 12c charge per ATM transaction and no charge for debit card transactions.

“It is important that this saving is passed on to the consumer in terms of lower prices,” Minister Noonan said of the change, “and this new fee regime will be monitored closely to ensure this happens.”

Contactless payment image via Shutterstock

Updated 14/10/2015 09:18: This article was amended to say that there is a limit of three contactless payments in a row before a PIN is required, not a daily limit of €50.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic