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Payment Services COVID-19 Support FAQs

Are branch-based services being maintained?

Our retail banks remain committed to the continued provision of services across their branch network.

As branch-based business volumes decline considerably due to the pandemic, some branches may need to close temporarily closed so that staff and other resources can be redeployed where customer servicing needs are greater. While the majority of branches remain open, the operation of the branch network is being kept under ongoing review by all banks.

Where branches are closed, banks will seek to ensure that ATMs are replenished with cash

What are the alternatives to branch banking?

Given the requirement for social distancing, customers may wish to reduce their need to physically visit branches and instead to avail of the range of remote servicing options available to conduct their banking business. Transactions can be carried out using on-line banking, mobile banking apps, paying bills on-line and using debit and credit cards for purchases.

Customers are advised to be vigilant at all times when conducting their banking business: to guard against online fraud, be security conscious around log-in details and PIN numbers for credit and debit cards.  Please remember that banks will never ask you to share your passcodes or PINs with them.

What are banks doing to protect staff and customers?

The banks are working collaboratively to ensure that continuity of service plans are in place, that critical functions can continue, and that staff remain available to continue to service customers at this time.

All Banks are committed to working closely with impacted customers to provide a suitable solution to meet their ongoing banking needs in the event of any reduced services across their networks.

Will ATMs run out of cash?

The collaborative approach at industry level is focused on ensuring that ATMs will continue to be supplied with cash.  The social distancing requirements have to date not affected the servicing and maintenance of ATMs. There is an extensive network of ATMs across the country. In addition, almost all retail stores and supermarkets have the capability to take payment by debit or credit card – including contactless payments up to an increased limit of €50 – and to provide a cashback facility.

Is cash safe to use?

Authorities such as the World Health Organization, the European Central Bank and national central banks, together with renowned scientific institutions, have confirmed that there is no scientific evidence of an increased risk of spreading Covid-19 from the use of cash. Providing we follow the HSE guidelines for washing our hands and not touching our faces, the risk of contamination from a banknote is considered very low and not much different from that of touching other objects such as hand rails, tickets machines or door handles.

Do deposits continue to be protected?

Yes, the Deposit Guarantee Scheme continues to protect customer deposits in the normal way.  Administered by the Central Bank of Ireland and funded by credit institutions, the Scheme protects up to €100,000 per person per institution.  The Scheme covers a range of accounts – current accounts, deposit accounts and share accounts in banks, building societies and credit unions.  Further information is available at www.depositguarantee.ie