National Payments Plan 

A Strategic Direction for Payments

The National Payments Plan, which was launched in April 2013, aims at making savings of €1bn annually to the Irish economy by increasing the use of electronic forms of payment such as debit cards and electronic banking.

Ireland continues to rely heavily on cash and other paper payment instruments, and lags significantly behind our European peers in the use of more efficient electronic payment instruments. This has significant implications for cost competitiveness, security and consumer choice in Ireland. The efficiency of Ireland’s payment systems infrastructure could be improved if greater use were made of secure and efficient electronic payments, leading to a reduction in the proportion of transactions involving cash and cheques.

The National Payments Plan Steering Committee oversaw the development of the plan, and consisted of representatives of consumers, business, Government, banks and the Central Bank. The plan has also been approved by Government. The plan has three principal targets:

  • Double the number of e-Payments such as debit cards or electronic credit transfers by 2015, leading to a reduction in cash and cheque usage to the EU average;
  • Greatly improve the efficiency of the Irish cash cycle; and
  • Ensure the successful transition of retail electronic payments to SEPA standards by 1st February 2014.


e-Day (September 19th 2014)

e-Day, set for the 19th of September 2014,  is the date from which Government Departments, Local Authorities and State Agencies will no longer use cheques in their dealings with businesses.  e-Day was launched in September 2013, 12 months before it takes effect, to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements and to give both the various public sector bodies and the affected businesses plenty of time to make arrangements for paying electronically.

The particular focus of e-Day is to encourage SMEs to migrate from cheque usage as they are either issuers or receivers of more than 60% of all cheques in Ireland.  A shift from cheques to electronic as a preferred method of payment will result in reduced costs and improved cash-flow for the overall business sector.

The e-Day cheque reduction initiative is one of the recommendations contained in the National Payments Plan.


Membership of the National Payments Plan Steering Committee:

  • Chairman - Tony Grimes
  • Department for Finance - John Hogan
  • Department of Social Protection - Siobhan Lawlor
  • National Consumer Agency - Karen O’Leary
  • IBEC - Fergal O'Brien
  • RGDATA - Tara Buckley
  • Electric Ireland - Francis O'Brien
  • Central Bank (Payments) - Maurice McGuire
  • Central Bank (Currency Centre) - Paul Molumby
  • Central Bank (Consumer Protection) - Bernard Sheridan
  • AIB - Paul Rohan
  • Bank of Ireland - Vincent Brennan
  • IPSO - Maurice Crowley
  • Paypal - Martin Shields 



Other relevant publications and links



We are always very interested in feedback on the National Payments Plan, or of the actual experiences of consumers, retailers and other businesses in how they make and receive payments. Please send any comment to All correspondence will be treated in confidence.