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Contactless fees dropped by banks amid health crisis

  

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(Stock picture)

(Stock picture)

(Stock picture)

Ulster Bank is not expected to drop its fee for making payments using a contactless card despite Bank of Ireland saying it was waiving its contactless fees.

It comes after AIB said it was putting off introducing a 'tap fee'.

Bank of Ireland will waive all contactless fees of 1c per tap with immediate effect for the duration of the public health emergency.

It said this was to comply with the advice from the Government on social distancing and hand hygiene.

Many consumers are relying more on contactless payments while making everyday purchases.

The bank also committed to buying back foreign currency from those affected by travel disruption at the rate it was sold for, ensuring that the customer will not be at a financial loss.

Last week, AIB scrapped plans to introduce a fee for contactless payments until the coronavirus outbreak is over.

Under the plan, AIB wanted to charge consumers a 'tap fee' of 1c. The move had been described as "a real kick in the teeth" by consumer advocates.

Political parties, including the Labour Party and Sinn Féin, had called for AIB to scrap the plans for the contactless payment fees.

Last Friday, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he planned to raise the issue with the bank. AIB subsequently announced it was suspending the plan.

"In the light of the current Covid-19 outbreak, AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee," the bank said.

Meanwhile, the energy regulator said it has put in place measures to assist pre-payment meter customers during the crisis period to ensure they remain connected to their electricity and gas supplies. Domestic disconnections are suspended until March 29.

Emergency credit levels for all gas pre-payment customers are to be increased from €10 to €100.

Irish Independent