AIB halts contactless charges amid COVID-2019 pandemic

Seeking to reduce cash payments during the COVID-2019 Irish bank AIB has announced it has halted plans to implement charges for contactless payments. 

The AIB actions come following advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO), urgining people and businesses to refrain from handling cash wherever possible in light of the ongoing global health pandemic. 

The bank offered the following statement with regards to the update: “In the light of the current Covid-19 outbreak AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee.”

Nonetheless, the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) did criticise the bank for its lack of financial assurances to the industry, which will likely be one of the hardest hit because of the outbreak. 

The Irish Times reported that Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the RAI, engaged in discussions with AIB’s head of SMEs, Rachel Naughton, last week urging for extra forbearance measures for his members.

It comes after Ireland announced the closure of all pubs and restaurants in a bid to halt the spread of the virus, ahead of St Patrick’s Day which is one of the busiest times of the year for the sector in the region.