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How to make cashless payments in Ireland


Cashless payments are those made without using cash. In addition to traditional credit / debit cards, transactions can also be made by bringing the phone or watch closer to a contact surface, or by pointing the camera at a QR code.

The technology, which was already a trend, gained even more importance during the pandemic, since it provides more security in payments, eliminating the unhygienic practice of paying with banknotes and coins.

According to a PayPal / Ipsos survey, 65% of Irish consumers consider the ability to make payments without the use of money to be important, being crucial to the recovery of the post-Covid economy.

Ireland leads the ranking of the countries that most use card for payments, and is the eighth country in terms of electronic payments, according to a study by GlobalData. Another study by One4All showed that the Irish carry, on average, just € 32 in cash with them. One in ten Irish people say they never carry cash, and use only cards or cell phones to make purchases.

If you want to give up money once and for all, check out some of the most common ways to become cashless in Ireland:

Debit cards

Most major banks in Ireland have been offering Visa or Mastercard debit cards with contactless payment for some years. Small value purchases can be paid just by bringing the card close to the machine, without the need to enter the password. Since April 1, 2020, the limit for this type of transaction is € 50. For larger values ​​you will need to enter the password.

This form of payment is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland. In 2019, the number of contactless card payments grew by 44%, with a total of 135 million payments totaling more than € 1.6 million.

Apple Pay and Google Pay

These are the most popular digital wallets and probably the most accepted by commercial establishments. Google Pay can be used on Android phones with NFC technology, while Apple Pay is exclusive for iPhone users. In these services, you register your debit / credit card and start using your cell phone to make payments by approximation. Both services can be used free of charge by customers of the main banks in Ireland, such as AIB, KBC, Ulster Bank, N26, Revolut, Monese and Bunq.

Leap Card

This card is used in several public transport systems across the country. In Dublin, the card is accepted on buses (Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead), trains (DART, Moons and Irish Rail) and intercity trips (Bus Éireann). The card can be purchased at one of the more than a thousand points of sale or through the website. For students, the card must be requested through this website. In addition to reduced rates, the student card also entitles you to discounts at partners such as McDonald’s, Deliveroo and Boots.


There are 11 toll roads in Ireland, and all of them accept payment with a Toll Tag, a kind of chip that is placed in the car. In addition to saving on rates, there is no need to waste time stopping the car and counting the change to pay the toll, as all payments are made electronically. The tag can be prepaid or postpaid, depending on the company that provides the service. You can compare all options on this page.

Parking Tag
This service allows you to pay for parking in major Irish cities using your cell phone only. If you do not use the service as often, you can pay via this link or via SMS, using a credit or debit card. Customers of Vodafone and Three operators can choose to charge their phone bill. For users who use the service more often, it is possible to register an account in order to enjoy the application and automatic charges.

Author: Pedro

I work with digital marketing and lived in Europe for two years. I like to write about travel, business and entertainment, as well as sharing tips and advice for Brazilians living abroad.
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