The Future of Payments in Ireland

By Philip Konopik, Country Manager, Ireland • Visa Europe

June 07, 2017

The payments system in Ireland, much like the rest of Europe, is rapidly evolving as Irish consumers embrace instant, convenient ways to pay. In my opinion there are 3 aspects ofthe Irish payments landscape which are particularly interesting: the level of demand for new payment solutions by consumers;, why the importance of collaboration for the development of the next generation of commerce applications, and the extent to which the Internet of Things is a game changer for the payments sector.

Consumer Demand For New Payment Solutions

In recent years, new innovative technologies have infiltrated the payments ecosystem, transforming the checkout experience and allowing Irish consumers to adopt a simpler way of life when it comes to making payments.

Visa has been at the heart of this, introducing innovations like tokenisation which has enabled Android Pay and Apple Pay, as well as leading the momentum behind contactless payments in Ireland.

This is not a pipe dream. It is already estimated that by 2020 one in five consumers will pay for items using their smartphone each day, and that payments on mobile devices will account for more than 50% of all Visa transactions.

And there is clear demand from Irish consumers, with data from Visa’s 2016 digital payments study revealing that they are constantly looking for fast, real-time payment methods which are not only convenient, but also secure. For example, the study showed that 78% of the Irish research participants chose to manage their money or make payments using a mobile device – a figure that has tripled since Visa’s 2015 study.

In particular, we’ve seen that the 55-64 age bracket has experienced the fastest rate of growth amongst Irish consumers who are turning to mobile, tablet or wearable devices to make payments. This is encouraging, as this demographic are often seen to be slower to adopt new payment solutions or technologies. It’s also confirmation that Irish consumers as a whole are truly embracing the future of digital payments in its many forms.

Collaboration & The Next Generation Of Commerce Applications

We work with our clients to solve real-world everyday issues for consumers and businesses, using digital solutions. As demand for innovation continues to intensify, new technologies are constantly emerging and we at Visa are at the heart of such advances. A perfect example is last year’s unveiling of the Visa Developer platform, giving software application developers open access to industry-leading payments technology, products and services by Visa.

The platform helps financial institutions, merchants, and technology companies meet the demands of consumers who increasingly rely on connected devices to shop, pay and get paid. This launch was driven by Visa’s ambition to further collaborate and innovate in the payments space – with financial institutions, technology companies, and start-ups – creating the next generation of commercial applications.

IoT Is a Game Changer For The Payments Sector

In the past, when people thought about electronic payments, they thought of payment cards. While a lot of discussion today focuses on mobile, the Internet of Things is fundamentally shifting people’s perception about what’s possible. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that every Internet-connected device, appliance, or wearable can become a secure place for commerce.

While this may feel intangible to some, we’ve already brought this to life at our new Innovation Center in London. It features practical demonstrations of the IoT in a connected car and a connected home, such as the ability to pay for car insurance or place a grocery order from a refrigerator – Truly bringing the future of the payments landscape to life.

But these applications aren’t simply for show. Earlier this year we announced a partnership with IBM Watson, the industry’s first collaboration that brings the point of sale everywhere Visa is accepted. The collaboration brings together IBM’s Watson Internet of Things (IoT) platform and cognitive capabilities, with Visa’s global payments services that are used by more than 3 billion consumers globally. It is a pioneering partnership as it allows businesses to quickly introduce secure payment experiences for any device connected to the IoT.

The journey towards a cashless society is under way and the pace of change is increasing. While we might be years away from flying cars, it won’t be long until all our cars are connected.

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