With the number of U.K. customers using contactless payments to make purchases, AIB announced that it will continue to waive transaction fees for purchases of $30 or less.
Currently, the only bank in the U.K. to charge for contactless payments is Bank of Ireland. There had been rumors that AIB was going to impose a €0.20 transaction fee at the end of February. However, there appears to be no immediate plans to do that.
“We don’t currently charge a transaction fee for contactless as it’s waived,” a company spokesperson told Newstalk. “We have no immediate plans to charge.”
According to Finextra, AIB customers are using contactless payment for more than 5 million transactions each month — and that number is only expected to grow. The UK Cards Association reported that, as of Nov. 2016, there were more than 100 million contactless cards in issue in the U.K., with almost £3 billion in transactions for that month alone. The average contactless purchase is around £8.
A big part of the contactless allure is its ease of use. There is no need to swipe or enter a card, punch in a PIN number or sign a receipt. Instead, customers pay by touching their contactless card or mobile device to the terminal, making it perfect for quick purchases in coffee shops, supermarkets and local retailers.
And it’s a safe method of payment, using the same industry-standard secure encryption technology as chip-and-PIN. In fact, contactless payments can be deemed even safer than standard ways of making a purchase. There’s no need for a customer to carry cash around or enter a PIN that can be stolen (although, from time to time, consumers may be asked to insert their card and enter their PIN or unlock their device to complete the transaction to verify they are the actual cardholder).