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Finance: We'll pay more using Visa cards

IRISH consumers will have to pay the difference in charges for using new Visa cards issued by banks.

AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB are all replacing their Laser cards with new Visa cards.

However, retailers are being charged far more for the new system. It's expected that they will have no choice but to pass the additional costs on to their customers -- ultimately in the form of higher prices.

With both a Visa debit card and a Laser card, you can only spend what you have in your current account.


The new Visa debit card entitles bank customers to buy online as they would with a credit card.

And people will be able to use them to withdraw money from an ATM and to pay for goods and services by swiping the card.

But the drawback is that retailers could be hit with fees for using the new cards which are 5,000pc higher than for Laser.

When you buy something with a Laser card, there is a fixed charge of 15c. But the new Visa cards have charges imposed on retailers of up to 1.55pc per transaction.

On a €500 purchase, this will mean charges for the retailer of 15c for a Laser card, but €7.75 for the new Visa debit cards -- a rise of more than 5,000pc.