Bank of Ireland cuts back on ATM services for customers

Bank ramps up move to digital as it readies launch of new app

Bank of Ireland is set to cut a number of services it offers via its network of ATM machines. It is also scrapping its ATM-only cards

Bank of Ireland is set to cut a number of services it offers via its network of ATM machines. It is also scrapping its ATM-only cards

 

Bank of Ireland is set to cut a number of services it offers via its network of ATM machines. It is also scrapping its ATM-only cards, as it ramps up its digital services and readies for the launch of its new mobile banking app.

The changes will apply from May 11th. Customers will no longer be able to request statements, pay bills, or top up a mobile phone from a Bank of Ireland ATM.

Customers will still be able to use the bank’s online and mobile banking services to conduct these transactions, or its 365 phone service to pay bills and request statements.

In addition, Bank of Ireland plans to cull ATM-only cards, which can only be used to withdraw money from an ATM, with customers to get replacement debit cards.

The bank is also withdrawing from SuperValu’s Real Rewards loyalty programme, from April 1st. Bank of Ireland credit card holders currently earn loyalty points when using their cards to pay bills in SuperValu. As a goodwill gesture, the bank will add 500 points, worth €5, to the SuperValu rewards accounts of their customers.

Higher charge

The withdrawal of the ATM-only cards will mean a higher government charge for those who switch. Basic ATM cards have a lower stamp duty levy than Visa/Mastercard debits, as the charge is capped at €2.50 a year, compared with €5 for a combined ATM/debit card.

The move won’t affect those aged under 14 , but the bank will no longer accept applications for an ATM-only card from this age group.

“Under-14s can apply for a visa debit card with parental consent,” a spokesman said.

The changes come as Bank of Ireland increasingly shifts its services on to a digital platform. According to its latest annual report, published earlier this week, the bank had more than 10 million monthly engagements on its mobile app, up 25 per cent on 2017. Some 79 per cent of its current account users are now “digitally active”.

New app

BOI is also working on a new mobile app, which it expects to launch later this year. The bank promises that the app will have “increased functionality and enhanced security features” and will work on both mobiles and tablets.

At present, the bank has one app for smartphones, and another for tablets, and its app functionality lags behind that of new fintech players.

If customers do not download the new app when it becomes available, they will will need a physical security key to continue to use the 365 online banking services. This is a small, handheld device that generates one-time passcodes to enable customers to log in and authenticate payments.