AIB scraps plan for contactless payments fee after earlier suspension

4 Sep 2020323 Views

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Following its decision to suspend the introduction of a fee on contactless payments during Covid-19, AIB will now scrap the plan.

AIB will no longer be looking to place a 1c fee on all contactless payments for account holders, but other previously agreed fees will still be coming in November.

The bank first announced plans to introduce the contactless fee earlier this year, but performed a U-turn following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland as more people were encouraged to go contactless to limit contact with others. At the time, AIB said this was a temporary measure, but plans for this fee have now been scrapped.

The bank’s managing director of retail banking, Jim O’Keefe, said its research showed that 77pc of customers are completing contactless payments on a weekly basis.

“This reflects transformed customer behaviour and broadens the base of customers accessing digital channels.With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the extension of free contactless payments for all our customers,” he said.

However, from 28 November, AIB customers will now face quarterly account fees regardless of the minimum daily balance in their account. Previously, the bank waived fees for customers who kept a minimum daily balance of €2,500 in their account throughout the quarter. The change will affect around 10pc of its customers.

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AIB will continue to provide banking without maintenance and transaction fees for customers aged 66 and over, as well as students, graduates, those with basic bank accounts and customers who pay their AIB mortgage through their AIB personal account.

Ulster Bank stands alone

In addition to a quarterly maintenance fee of €4.50, other AIB charges include 20c for automated transactions and 35c for ATM withdrawals.

Last month, Bank of Ireland announced that it is introducing a €6 monthly fee on accounts in place of existing fees and charges. This means customers can have unlimited contactless payments without a fee per transaction. Ulster Bank is now the only bricks-and-mortar bank in Ireland charging a contactless fee.

Commenting on AIB’s changes, Bonkers.ie’s head of communications, Daragh Cassidy, said: “While AIB’s mobile app, customer service and online services are among the best from banks here, in my opinion, its current account charging structure is increasingly out of line with its competitors.

“Depending on how your use your account, there are far cheaper options available from the likes of KBC, Permanent TSB, and Revolut.”

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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