Credit cards have become one of the most popular payment options for many of Ireland’s financial institutions, but the country’s banking sector is struggling to keep up with growing demand.
Read more: Irish banks and credit unions have a €1.5bn gap between their total revenue and spending in 2019-20.
The number of people using credit cards in Ireland grew by 1,000 in the last financial year, with nearly 1.3 million people having access to a credit line at a time, according to the latest figures.
However, the sector is not growing fast enough, with total revenue from credit cards at €2.9bn in 2019 and spending at €1,500, according the Irish Banking Authority (IBA).
That’s an increase of around 5 per cent compared with the previous year.
And, despite the big rise in credit card usage, there are still many Irish banks which still do not offer a credit credit card for customers.
According to IBAC data, only 6.5 per cent of all credit card transactions in the country are processed through a credit union.
This leaves almost 40 per cent unprocessed, and the gap is expected to grow further in 2020.
The IBA’s figures are the latest to show that the number of cardholders with a credit balance is still growing.
In 2017-18, IBAC figures showed that the total balance was up by 3.9 per cent.
However, there was an increase in the number who had used credit cards to pay for their daily bills.
The average balance per credit cardholder in Ireland in 2019 was €1m, according IBAC.
For the year to date, there have been more than 50,000 transactions on credit cards, with the average payment being €2,000, IBA data shows.
The average credit card transaction for the total population in the Republic of Ireland is estimated at €15,816.