15 March 2016
By Elaine Murphy
New figures published today have shown that Cork City has taken the lead in embracing cash-free payment options following the successful rollout of the Cork Cashes Out campaign. The three-month pilot initiative, launched last November to promote Cork as Ireland’s first cash-free city, saw the number of contactless payments increase by 176% more in Cork City than the rest of the country. In addition, there was an increase in the value of contactless payments of 157% more in the city than the national average.
While the use of card payment options saw a strong uplift at a national level, Cork was ahead of the national average due to the pilot campaign. The city experienced 2% more card transactions that the national average and there was a year-on-year increase in the volume of card transactions of 17% in Cork City, compared to 15% across the country. This also equated to an increase in the value of transactions in Cork against the national average.
Cork Cashes Out promoted the use of Chip and Pin, Contactless and other electronic payment options over cash to position Cork as Ireland’s first cash-free city. More importantly, the campaign highlighted the real benefits for both consumers and businesses of going cash-free, not just as a more convenient way of shopping but also more safe and secure than carrying cash.
The innovate initiative was led by the Cork City Centre Forum, a group of stakeholders including Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cork Business Association, Cork City Council, An Garda Siochana as well as a host of key local business people. Cork Cashes Out also had the support of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), a representative body for over 70 banks and institutions operating in the Irish financial marketplace.
Campaign spokesperson and local businessman, Paul Montgomery said: “When we launched Cork Cashes Out, we knew that there would be an uplift in the use of cash-free payment options, but we have been really blown away by how successful the campaign has been. In just a short period of time, Cork has seen an increase in the number of people using cash-free payment options compared to the rest of the country and this is set to continue.
“But the real success story is the usage of contactless payments in Cork. The number of contactless payments in Cork far exceeded the rest of the country, which shows just how open people are to adopting new technologies when they see the benefits.”
He added: “As Ireland’s second largest city with a “smart city” agenda, Cork was ideal for the roll out of Cork Cashes Out. The campaign captured the attention of the city and really enhanced our reputation as a safe, friendly and convenient place to visit and added a tourism and trade differentiator.
“We are now in an era where non-cash payments are far more commonplace. I see across my businesses and from talking to others in the city, there is a clear move away from cash. It makes sense, people don’t need to worry about the risks of carrying cash. And, from a business perspective, there is less cash on premises. And, ultimately offering customers greater choice is better customer service.”
Facts and figures
|Three month year-on-year from Nov ’15 – Jan ‘16||CORK||NATIONAL||DIFFERENCE|
|% increase in volume of contactless payments||522%||346%||176%|
|% increase in value of contactless payments||607%||450%||157%|
|% increase in volume of card transactions||17%||15%||2%|
|% increase in value of card transactions||10%||9%||1%|