Permanent TSB’s new current account to offer cashbacks and reductions on bills

Aimed at millennials the bank’s ‘Explore’ account gives customers 10 cent back on every transaction - but it comes with a hefty monthly fee

With the ‘Explore’ account, customers of PTSB will be paid 10 cent by the bank for each time they use their Visa debit card in-store or online up to a maximum of €5 per month. (Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times)

With the ‘Explore’ account, customers of PTSB will be paid 10 cent by the bank for each time they use their Visa debit card in-store or online up to a maximum of €5 per month. (Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times)

 

Permanent TSB has launched a new current account product with a number of cashback features that it hopes will attract new customers who are in their late twenties or early thirties.

Called the ‘Explore’ account, customers will be paid 10 cent by the bank for each time they use their Visa debit card in-store or online up to a maximum of €5 per month.

It will also allow customers to avail of 5 per cent cashback on their bills with Sky Ireland if they pay by direct debit from the account , discounts on SSE Airtricity energy bills, and 2 cent-a-litre off fuel at Topaz. Other discounts will be added over time.

They will also be signed up for GoRewards, which will make weekly personalised offers through a range of partners.

The bank said that customers typically use their debit cards 17 times a month, which would earn customers €1.70 a month.

However, customers will be charged a €4-a-month flat maintenance fee for the account. Based on current usage patterns, this would indicate a net charge to customers of €2.30 a month from using the new product.

There will be no day-to-day transaction fees for using the debit card or for standing orders or direct debits. Some charges will apply for unpaid items or ATM usage outside the euro zone.

Niall O’Grady, PTSB’s commercial director, said the product would reduce its cost of funding but declined to give any details, adding that the new account would be profitable for the group.

He said that the new account would be a “win-win” for customers and the bank. “Other banks benefit from a low cost source of funds through current accounts and they then charge customers for basic services linked to those same funds. With this new account, we are simply rewarding customers for the use they are giving us of their funds and investing in long-term relationships with them.”

PTSB, which is 75 per cent State owned, has added 145,000 current account customers since 2013 through a product that offers free banking once the customer mandates €1,500 a month to the accounts.

These customers will have the option of switching to the new product if they wish while some 10,000 have already signed up for the GoRewards programme.

Mr O’Grady said this latest offering would bring competition to the Irish market and position PTSB as the main challenger bank here.