Shoppers have been left "frustrated and annoyed" with issues around One4All gift cards this Christmas.
Many employees around the country will have been given the cards as a tax-free Christmas bonus.
However, there have been a growing number of complaints from people attempting to use the cards in the lead-up to Christmas.
A number of people have taken to social media to voice their concerns about the "over-elaborate" and "frustrating" card verification process for cards worth over €150, as well as problems getting through to customer service.
Charlie Weston, Personal Finance Editor of the Irish Independent, spoke to The Pat Kenny Show about the issues being experienced.
He explained: “[The cards] are a really popular bonus arrangement - there’s a tax-free allowance of €500 for employees if they get a gift card rather than cash.
“Particularly this year, there has been a massive number of employers giving staff a bonus in the form of a gift card… due to COVID and the extraordinary lengths people have gone to.”
Money laundering rules require people to verify their name and One4All card online before using it.
However, that online process is where the problems have arisen - particularly with a large volume of people attempting to register their details.
Charlie explained: “The app is already pre-populated with an eight-digit code, and you add another eight digits to that. But a lot of people are wiping out the pre-populated code.
“Then they’re trying to ring One4All and they can’t get through. They’re really frustrated and annoyed.”
Other people have been going into shops expecting to be able to use their card, but are then discovering they can't use them without going through the registration process.
Charlie said similar problems arose last year, but it’s "much worse this year".
In a statement to the Independent, One4All said there’s been a “massive increase” in the number of cards being given to employees, and photo ID is required to authorise the cards.
They say they appreciate customers’ patience and they will respond to each and every query.
However, Charlie said there’ll still be frustrated customers unable to use their cards during the pivotal Christmas period - potentially leading to some lasting damage to the One4All brand.
While the strict money laundering rules are beyond the control of One4All, Charlie said the company likely should’ve put more resources in place to deal with the current level of demand.