HUNDREDS of thousands of credit union members will have access to current accounts and debit cards after the launch of a new offering.
ome 16 credit unions have come together to offer a debit card to up to 400,000 members.
The new card and current account is backed by the Irish League of Credit Unions.
Called MyCU, the account and card will allow members to manage their day-to-day banking with their credit union.
The debit card is part of the Mastercard network, which means it can be used around the world. They will also be able to access their account worldwide.
An overdraft facility is on offer for those who sign up for the current account.
Most credit unions offering the new MyCU account are charging a monthly maintenance fee of €4, which is below what banks charge.
Another 48 credit unions are offering around 1.5 million members a current account and debit card through the CurrentAccount.ie brand.
Also a Mastercard offering, it offers contactless payments along with Apple Pay, Google Pay & Fitbit Pay.
The move into offering day-to-day transactions services by credit unions comes as millions of people will be seeking new banking arrangements with the impending closure of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank.
President of the Irish League of Credit Unions Helene McManus said the new MyCU debit card offering is vital for the future of Ireland’s credit unions.
“People in Ireland massively embraced debit cards and online banking from day one and it makes sense that their local trusted credit union can now offer this level of convenience and access to their finances.”
Dermot Griffin of the payments body behind the MyCU brand said there has been huge interest among credit union members in signing up for a debit card and current account.
“We are seeing a lot of interest in the MyCU debit card and current account with Ulster Bank and KBC Bank pulling out. People like the personal touch you get with a credit union.”
He said MyCU will soon add Apple Pay and Google Pay to its current account product.
Among the credit unions offering the electronic banking option and the MyCU debit card are Ballinasloe and Naomh Breandán in Galway, Unity in Limerick, Enniscorthy and Wexford in Wexford, Gurranabraher and Mallow in Cork, Letterkenny in Donegal, Monaghan in that county, People First in Laois and St Colman’s in Mayo.
The Currentaccount.ie brand recently added Apple Pay for those with an iPhone or Apple Watch. It already offers Google Pay and Fitbit Pay.
Seamus Newcombe of Currentaccount.ie said Apple Pay is a secure and private way to pay that helps avoid handing a debit card to someone else, touching physical buttons or exchanging cash.
Members of participating credit unions hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near a payment terminal to make a contactless payment.
He said every Apple Pay purchase is secure because it is authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID or a device passcode, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code.