Financial Services Ireland (FSI), the IBEC group that represents the financial services industry, today welcomed the changes announced by the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, to the duties payable on all bank cards and cheques.
The group said this provided a clear incentive for consumers to embrace more efficient payment methods.
FSI Deputy Director Brendan Kelly said: "Electronic payment methods such as debit and credit cards offer consumers greater convenience and security, and are generally cheaper and more efficient for businesses.
"A report commissioned by the Department of the Taoiseach in 2003 found that cash and cheques cost the Irish economy as much as €640m - this is a significant cost that the economy simply can’t afford, and is a real threat to our international competitiveness."
"While today’s announcement is an important first step, we are somewhat disappointed that the Minister did not abolish the charges on credit and debit cards completely."