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Citing coronavirus, AIB suspends planned contactless fee

Citing coronavirus, AIB suspends planned contactless fee

Irish bank AIB says that in light of the Covid-19 outbreak it is suspending its recently announced plan to introduce transaction charges for contactless payments.

In a recent letter to customers, AIB outlined plans to follow Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank in introducing a one cent charge for every contactless transaction.

However, in a brief statement, the bank now says: "In the light of the current Covid-19 outbreak AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee."

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation advised consumers to avoid handling bank notes and instead switch to contactless payments to deter the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The WHO's advice came after China and Korea began isolating and disinfecting used bank notes, which are known carriers of viruses and bacteria.

Comments: (6)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 March, 2020, 13:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Anything the banks can think of to cream yet more money from consumers or retailers they take it. What is this, a 'convenience' charge? Faced with this customers should go back to using cash or just make it a standard card transaction. 

Eric Van Den Bergh
Eric Van Den Bergh - Payments Advisory Group - Antwerp 16 March, 2020, 08:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Why would/will AIB charge a fee on contactless payments. Banks have been stimulating contactless, and as banks always do, as soon as it works, charge it.

Ognian Timchev
Ognian Timchev - Iute Pay Bulgaria - Sofia 16 March, 2020, 10:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

contactless transaction charge? seriosly

Russell Bell
Russell Bell - Fastbase Ltd - Wellington 16 March, 2020, 23:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

In the news today, debunking coronavirus myths ..."From previous research into similar coronaviruses, including those that cause SARS and MERS and are similar to COVID-19, scientists believe that the virus cannot survive on letters or packages for an extended time.  Coronaviruses on surfaces are not likely to survive over the period of the days or weeks a parcel from China needs to reach a destination outside the country."

What is the typical turn-around time for recirculating used bank notes ?  If the virus can't survive on the surface of an envelope, it can't survive on a bank note.

Eric Van Den Bergh
Eric Van Den Bergh - Payments Advisory Group - Antwerp 17 March, 2020, 05:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes @Russell: what is then, approx, the survival time of the virus on e.g. an envelope? Thanks
Russell Bell
Russell Bell - Fastbase Ltd - Wellington 17 March, 2020, 21:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Depends if by "survival time" you mean remains infectious, vs can still be identified.

"...although the common cold virus has been shown to survive on surfaces for several days, their ability to cause infections quickly diminishes; they usually cannot cause infections after 24 hours."

"Cold and flu virus-laden droplets may remain infectious for several hours, depending on where they fall."

"Viruses outside the body can be better described as either infectious or identifiable - meaning the genetic material that was once inside the virus can be detected via a lab technique like polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. This is usually what advertisements for cleaning products are referring to when they say flu viruses can survive on surfaces for days on end."

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