Irish bank AIB says that in light of the Covid-19 outbreak it is suspending its recently announced plan to introduce transaction charges for contactless payments.

In a recent letter to customers, AIB outlined plans to follow Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank in introducing a one cent charge for every contactless transaction.

However, in a brief statement, the bank now says: “In the light of the current Covid-19 outbreak AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee.”

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation advised consumers to avoid handling bank notes and instead switch to contactless payments to deter the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The WHO’s advice came after China and Korea began isolating and disinfecting used bank notes, which are known carriers of viruses and bacteria.