Laser cards no longer acceptable from Friday

After almost two decades of being our flexible friend through good times and bad without ever taking the credit, the humble Laser card is to suffer the ultimate rejection.

Laser cards no longer acceptable from Friday

Exactly 18 years to the day since one was used for the very first time in 1996, the cards will no longer work from midnight on Friday.

From then on, retailers who try to process a transaction using a laser card will receive an error message.

“Retailers that currently accept Laser cards for subscriptions, ongoing payments for policies or recurring transactions should make arrangements with their customers to obtain an alternative payment method,” a spokeswoman for the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) said.

“Retail owners and managers will need to alert staff members that Laser cards cannot be accepted in stores or businesses as and from midnight on February 28.”

IPSO said all the cards should now have been replaced with Visa and MasterCard debit cards.

In its heyday in 2011, there were more than three million active Laser debit cards in circulation around the country, one for almost every adult member of the population.

The biggest spending period was actually a year earlier when a whopping €11.1 billion was spent in the course of 201 million transactions.

The Laser card scheme was established here in 1996 to provide an alternative payment tool to cash and cheques.

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