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After 18 years, wave goodbye to Laser cards

You won’t be able to use a Laser card from midnight 28 February.

Image: Sean MacEntee via Flickr/Creative Commons

THEY TURN 18 this year, but the grown-up Laser cards will find themselves off the market in a number of days.

From midnight on 28 February, you won’t be able to use your Laser card, as the cards are being replaced by Visa and MasterCard debit cards.

The Irish Payment Services Oranisation (IPSO) said today that if you try to use a Laser card after 28 February, you’ll get an error message only.

What about if your Laser card is signed up for a recurring payment or subscription?

IPSO says that retailers that currently accepting Laser cards for such transactions should make arrangements with their customers to organise an alternative payment method.

If you’re a business owner or manager, you’re advised to alert your staff members that Laser cards cannot be accepted from midnight on 28 February.

First Laser card

The last Laser file transmission will be processed almost 18 years to the day since the very first Laser transaction in 1996, said IPSO.

When Laser reached its peak in 2011, there were more than 3 million active Laser debit cards in the market.

The highest value spent on goods and services on the cards overall in Ireland was €201 million in one single year – 2010.

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Last year, AIB and Bank of Ireland announced that they were to replace Laser cards with Visa and Mastercard debit cards which would enable cardholders to pay for some purchases with ‘contactless’ technology.

People with these new cards can pay by holding the card against a reader to pay for purchases under €15.

Banks have been steadily replacing the Laser cards with new debit cards, but if you haven’t received one yet you would be advised to contact your bank.

Read: Visa cards to replace Laser allowing for ‘contactless’ payments>

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