An Post has Revolut and N26 firmly in its sights with the launch of its new current account app.
With Ulster Bank and KBC planning to exit the Irish market soon, many of you might be on the lookout for a new current account.
Or maybe you're simply fed up with your current provider’s service and their fees and charges and are looking for something better.
If either applies to you, you might be interested in the launch of An Post’s brand new current account mobile app, which offers new and existing customers a host of new services and features.
Back in 2017 An Post took its first step into the world of banking with the launch of the An Post Smart Current Account. And while the account wasn’t the most competitive in the market, it gave some much needed choice to Irish consumers.
In 2019 An Post started offering a wider range of banking products such as credit cards, personal loans, and a multi-currency foreign exchange card under its new An Post Money brand, which it delivers through its network of post offices nationwide and online through anpost.com.
And in the medium term An Post even has plans to enter the mortgage market.
All the while it has been investing heavily in its digital capabilities and has now launched its new and completely redesigned An Post Money app, which offers a host of new services to current account customers.
- Current account customers can easily save by setting money aside in up to 10 dedicated Jars. You can set savings targets and deadlines and pay bills right out of a Jar if you want to.
- Customers can also use the new Round Up function, which rounds up your debit card payments to the next whole number and puts the difference in a Jar. So, a payment of €1.90 puts €0.10 in your Jar. If you turn on Round Up multiplier, that amount is multiplied. Think of it like an online piggy bank.
- Customers can also access An Post Money Mate. This is a current account aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 15. With this feature, parents can set up an account for their child from their own app. With each account a child receives their own Mastercard debit card allowing them to make contactless, chip and PIN, and online payments - but fully overseen and controlled by their parent or guardian from their own account. As well as their own debit card, Money Mate users will also have access to their own special version of the An Post Money app, designed to make it easy for them to use. Parents can use their own app to remotely freeze their child’s card if it is lost or stolen, or to switch the card’s contactless and online payment functionality on or off. And of course to top them up with money. The idea behind the feature is to instil children with financial literacy skills from a young age, as well as giving parents a simple and manageable way to make sure their children can spend safely.
- There is also a new emergency cash function which allows customers to withdraw up to €200 a day from a post office if their debit card is reported lost or stolen.
- Customers can set up scheduled payments to send regular payments to Jars or other accounts for savings, to pay rent or send money to another account.
- Later this year An Post will also add the ability for account holders to categorise transactions, set budgets and receive alerts to help them stay in control of their money.
- As is currently the case, customers also have access to Apple, Google and Fitbit Pay.
How to set up the app
New customers can set up an account from the comfort of their own home in a fully online process by downloading the app and following the simple steps.
Existing customers will also have to download the new app if they wish to avail of the new features - this includes customers who are only using online banking on a computer at present (this is to enable enhanced security measures for customers banking online).
Speaking about the launch, Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post Retail said:
‘We are committed to offering An Post Money customers a better experience to manage their everyday banking needs, enabling them to take control of their finances and build better financial habits. The new An Post Money app and Money Mate kids account are industry leading, offering simple and seamless technology built on our trusted brand and unique human touch with our 930 post offices in communities across the country"
Is it worth it?
An Post clearly has Revolut and N26 in its sights with the launch of its new app.
An Post Money Mate is clearly a take on Revolut’s popular Revolut Junior while the Round Up feature is similar to Revolut’s Vaults. Meanwhile the ‘savings jars’ are similar to N26’s Spaces.
So despite the fact that the app isn’t offering anything particularly new it’s still a positive development and will hopefully force the main remaining current account providers here such as AIB, BOI and PTSB to up their game and improve their offerings also.
However the An Post account leans on the expensive side. The account has a €5 monthly maintenance fee and if you want access to An Post Money Mate it’ll be an extra €2 a month. These charges don’t apply with Revolut for example.
There is also a €0.60 ATM withdrawal fee. However the cash withdrawal fee reduces to €0.50 if money is taken out at an An Post branch and you get one free post office withdrawal each week.
You'll also be charged €0.50 for any cash or cheque lodgements at your post office.
At 3%, the account also has among the highest foreign exchange fees if you use your card outside the eurozone. With N26 non-euro card payments are free and with Revolut it’s free up to €1,000 a month.
All other day-to-day transactions like direct debits, standing orders, online payments, chip and pin and contactless payments are free though.
No overdraft facility is available with the account, however, so if you have an overdraft with your existing provider and want to switch to An Post, you'll need to clear it first.
However the An Post account allows you to lodge cash and cheques - something the online-only fintechs don't do - and there’s always a post office branch nearby in case something goes wrong. With Revolut and N26 you’ll invariably end up banging your head against the wall talking to a chat bot!
You’ll also get an Irish Iban - meaning you won’t have difficulties paying bills or getting paid. This is still sometimes an issue with Revolut and N26 users unfortunately who have Lithuanian and German Ibans at present.
Also, N26 and Revolut charge pretty hefty charges for withdrawing cash once you hit their limits. So if you prefer cash over cards, An Post could work out cheaper, especially if you take out money from your local post office.
Compare current accounts today
As always, the best thing is to head to our current account comparison service, input your usage details, and compare the features and charges from all providers to find out the best account for you.
Before making the switch, you might want to check out our guide on how to switch current accounts or take a look at this video we shot on who is offering the best value current accounts in 2021.
If you’re considering signing up to a ‘digital only’ bank, take a look at our comparison on N26 versus Revolut for a comprehensive review of both as well.
You can always stay up to date with all of the latest banking and personal finance news with our blogs or consult our useful guides if you’re seeking additional help.
What do you think?
What’s your opinion on An Post’s new app offering? Would you switch from Ulster Bank or KBC to the An Post Money app? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you have any questions on today’s news, we’d be happy to help! You can contact us over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.