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Thursday, 18th April 2024
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NIB calls for E-Day Back  
National Irish Bank has called on the Government to implement a number of key initiatives to be introduced before an E-Day of November 1st 2008. The recommendations come in the bank’s pre-Budget submission to the Department of Finance, which urge the Government to fast track the reform of the payments system in Ireland. The proposal advocates the phasing out of cheques, and the greater use of electronic forms of payment, or e-Payments, including direct debits, debit cards and credit cards.

NIB also claimed that the Law Reform Commission should investigate the issues involved in making electronic money a form of legal tender by 2010 in order to give people the confidence that if they have to make a payment, they can do so by debit or credit card.

To further enhance the credibility and confidence in electronic payments, the bank went on to say that the taxi regulator should make it compulsory for all taxis and hackneys to accept payment by debit or credit cards by the November 1st 2008.

The bank also said that the Government should levy tax on the inefficient forms of payment instead on the efficient forms.

Kevin Gallen, deputy chief executive, National Irish Bank, said that Ireland was falling behind competitor jurisdictions in relation to technological development. He said, ‘Ireland currently operates a highly inefficient mode of payments, which is costing the economy an estimated €750 million every year. This is an unnecessary burden on exporters and households, which is adversely impacting on our competitiveness as an economy.

Ireland is a very extensive user of cash, and unlike many countries, Ireland shows little signs of moving to more efficient payments mechanisms. According to the European Central Bank, annual cash withdrawals per consumer at Irish ATMs are well above the European average. Currently, 25 per cent of all transactions are done by cheque in Ireland, compared to less than 1 per cent for many European countries.

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