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Irish shopping centres must find a way to honour gift cards issued by UAB PayrNet - Higgins

Irish shopping centres such as Liffey Valley, Mahon Point and The Square Tallaght must find a way to honour gift cards issued by UAB PayrNet, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Emer Higgins, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West was speaking following the news that thousands of consumers have been left unable to spend their existing gift cards due to the license for the associated payments fund being revoked.

Deputy Higgins said: “Shopping centres such as Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin, Cork’s Mahon Point, White Water Shopping Centre in Kildare and the Square in Tallaght are among a number of retailers who are now unable to sell or accept gift cards following the announcement that UAB PayrNet, the payments firm responsible for managing the funds of gift cards, have had their licence revoked over breach of money laundering laws, as well as concerns over terrorist financing law violations.

“Thousands of customers will be inconvenienced by this recent announcement that leaves them unable to spend their gift cards for various retailers around the country and I am calling on the retailers and shopping centres impacted to immediately find a way to honour existing gift cards.

Deputy Higgins said “I have seen the various announcements that some shopping centres have made, and while I fully sympathise that this is a difficult situation for them and their staff, consumers need to be reassured that their gift cards will be honoured.

“If not, I would fear that it could cause a lot of reputational damage to impacted retailers,” added Deputy Higgins.

“The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) offer a range of advice on the fair and legal issuing and honouring of gift cards and I would also like to see the CCPC engaging with impacted retailers to bring about a resolution for customers.

“These gift cards represent real and hard earned money and it would be absolutely unacceptable for customers to lose out in this instance, especially when you consider the current cost of living crisis.

“I also think it’s important to point out that a lot of people will have received gift cards for these shopping centres as a present, meaning that the purchaser and the person receiving the voucher will both be at a loss if gift cards aren’t honoured.

“I’m calling on the CCPC to intervene and work with impacted retailers and shopping centres to find a way to honour all existing cards,” concluded Deputy Higgins.

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