The figures are contained in the latest Payments Monitor from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

It is the first time that digital banking payments outnumbered direct debit payments, which stood at 34.9 million.

The report also shows that there were €49m worth of contactless payments per day in the second quarter of the year, the highest daily spend in any quarter since the current series of records began.

Some 57.3% of card payment volumes were contactless in the second quarter of the year while 39.2% of the value of payments at physical points of sale were contactless.

“The value of contactless payments rose by 40% to more than €4.5 billion,” said Gillian Byrne, Head of Payments at BPFI.

“Cheque payments meanwhile fell by 2.6% year on year to 4.8 million, about half the volume when compared to the same period in 2018,” she said.