Sunday 22 April 2018

Workers warned of threat to May Day payments

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

WORKERS have been warned that they may not get their wages on time next month, due to a shut-down of European banks for May Day.

Banks here will not be closed, but the shut-down of Continental banks will impact here.

Last May, thousands of people were left without wages, after the May Day holiday on the Continent shut down interbank transactions in this country.

The employees were left without wages despite early warnings from banks that they would be unable to carry out banking transactions.

Now the banks have warned employers and those who pay pensions that they need to submit payments by Wednesday, April 29, to ensure people are paid the next day.

The Irish Banking and Payments Federation said a failure to do this could mean people do not get their money until the first week in May.

The banking lobby group said: "Because May 1 is a European bank holiday - although a normal banking day in Ireland - salaries and other payments due for payment on May 1 will need to be submitted by Wednesday, April 29, to ensure beneficiary accounts are credited on Thursday, April 30.

"Otherwise, there is a risk that some payments may not be credited to accounts until Tuesday May 5 - because of the impact of the May 1 bank holiday (European) and May 4 bank holiday (Ireland)."

The May Day holiday on the Continent causes a shut-down in interbank transactions in this country because Ireland has put in place the Sepa system. This is the EU-wide Single Euro Payments Area initiative.

It aims to have similar systems in place for making payments out of banks across Europe. The downside is that no payments can be paid in Ireland if there is a bank holiday on the Continent on a normal business day in Ireland.

Meanwhile, banks said consumers are set to spend more on debit cards than they withdraw in cash from ATMs (automated teller machines) for the first time this year.

Debit cards are similar to the old Laser cards and allow you to pay for products and services with them as long as you have money in your bank account. They also double as ATM cards.

The Banking Federation said payments on debit cards amounted to €19.9m last year.

The value of ATM withdrawals was €20.3m. But there was a strong rise in debit card payments, with a fall in the value of ATM withdrawals.

Irish Independent

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