Credit unions are breaking new ground in offering its 350,000-plus members a debit card.
The rollout of the card begins this month.
The debit MasterCard facilitates contactless payment and supports fully electronically-enabled accounts.
Eleven credit unions have come together to form a not-for-profit organisation, DCG Card Services, to manage the product.
The participating credit unions include Guarranabraher, Cork; First South, Cork; Tullamore, Co Offaly, Mullingar, Co Westmeath; Waterford; St Canice’s, Kilkenny; Navan, Co Meath; Tralee, Co Kerry; Mitchelstown, Co Cork; Ballinasloe, Co Galway; and Health Services Staff.
The debit card was developed after 84% of members surveyed said they wanted one from their credit union.
The card offers a more comprehensive banking package, which is managed and controlled by credit unions.
It is supported by MasterCard and is accepted anywhere the MasterCard logo is displayed worldwide.
Chairman of DCG Card Services and chief executive of Tralee Credit Union, Fintan Ryan, said members need a greater level of flexibility to suit their lifestyles.
“With demanding work and life commitments, many of our members are finding it increasingly difficult to make it into their credit union to access their funds,” said Mr Ryan.
“The new product is aimed at meeting the demand from current members, and attracting new and younger members to their credit unions.”
While the cost to members is a matter for each credit union, it is expected that point-of-sale transactions will cost 15c; ATM trans- actions will cost 40c; and there may also be a flat quarterly fee of €4.
Mr Ryan expected that more credit unions would be offering this service to members in the coming months.
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