Irish economy continues to leave cash behind

Consumer debit card transactions rose to €2.7bn last month...

New figures from the Central Bank show that Irish consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on their debit and credit cards.

Debit card point of sale spending in March increased by 14% when compared with the same month in 2016 - rising to €2.7bn.

Total transactions on debit cards rose to €4.3bn (including ATM withdrawals) - while credit card PoS spending came to €871m for the month.

Ireland used debit cards to spend €857m online - that was down slightly from the record €918m recorded in January of this year.

More than 71% of all card expenditure in March was split between retail (37%) and services (34%). Grocery shopping is the largest source of card spending.

Debit card transactions abroad during the first quarter amounted to €858m - that was 16% higher than the same period 12 months ago. Meanwhile, credit card spending abroad dropped by 6%.

Ireland's combined outstanding credit card debt was €1.2bn at the end of the month.