Vasileios Madouros: The evolving payment landscape in Ireland

Remarks by Mr Vasileios Madouros, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, at the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland National Payments Conference, Dublin, 4 March 2024.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
07 March 2024

The payments ecosystem lies at the heart of our economy.

In practice, of course, most people don't spend too much time thinking about how payments operate.

But money, and the associated infrastructure that enables payments, are absolutely critical for people's day-to-day lives and for the functioning of economies.

And, over the long course of history, we have seen both evolution and revolution in the world of money and payments.

From the silver pennies of Sitric Silkbeard in 997, to the first Saorstát pounds of the Irish Free State in 1928, the domestic adoption of cards as a means of payments in the 1990s, or entering a new era for money and payments, with our iconic harp featuring proudly on euro coins since 2002.

Looking back over the past decade

Given the focus of this morning's session on the evolving payments landscape in Ireland, let me starting by looking back at developments over the period since the last National Payments Plan.

This was a little over a decade ago, but there has been remarkable change and innovation over this period, across different dimensions:

  • How we pay in day-to-day transactions;
  • Who is involved in the payments ecosystem; and
  • The plumbing of the payments system itself.

How we pay

How we pay is partly driven by how we conduct commerce.

And how we conduct commerce has been changing dramatically, enabled by digitalisation.

Expanding internet connectivity, with 94% of households in Ireland now having access to the internet, has opened up the opportunity for commerce to move online.