All the Irish banks have replaced or are in the process of replacing Laser cards with Visa Debit cards. Halifax were first to change over to Visa Debit (they have since pulled out of Ireland ). Then in 2009 Ulster Bank began issuing Visa Debit cards and PTSB soon followed in 2010 . Bank of Ireland joined the switch to Visa in 2012 and finally AIB decided to move it’s 1.4 million Laser card holders over to Visa Debit cards. Some AIB customers still haven’t been issued with a Visa Debit card yet.
All remaining Laser cards are expected to be replaced during this year (2013). The Laser Company will cease to operate debit cards on 28th February 2014 – so all laser cards will have been replaced by then .
Your bank will be able to tell you when your card will be replaced. If you bank with Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland or PTSB and you have not yet received a Visa Debit card you should contact your bank.
AIB is currently rolling out Visa Debit cards to customers and Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank) will issue Mastercard Debit cards to their customers later this year. EBS have issued Mastercard Debit cards already.
A Visa Debit card can be used for point-of-sale transactions as well as those online and on the telephone, while also operating as an ATM and a cheque guarantee card.
The main benefit the Visa Debit card has over Laser- is that it can be used much more widely- with acceptance in over 24m locations worldwide and through one of the world’s largest ATM networks. It will remove the need for having a credit card to shop online – which is good news for younger people and many others who just can’t get a credit card.They can now take advantage of the lower prices and better choices available at online shopping sites that deliver to Ireland .
Online purchases account for about 12% of all debit card transactions and the use of cash in Ireland has declined.
There were 256 million debit card transaction in Ireland in 2012 – with an average amount os €53.86
Most banks in Ireland now charge about 20c for every debit card transaction . You can possibly reduce the bank charges you pay by using a Prepaid Debit Card
See more here about Visa Debit Bank Charges