The Covid pandemic has increased the adoption of mobile payments among consumers in Ireland with current account providers responding to the demand.
Around this time last year the Credit Union entered the current account market in Ireland, providing a welcome alternative to the banks.
At €4 a month for all your day-to-day banking it isn’t the cheapest account on offer but it’s certainly not the most expensive either! And a key advantage was the good customer service and personal touch that the Credit Union is known and loved for.
However a key disadvantage with the account at the time was that it provided no access to any digital payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay, which have become increasingly popular over the past year, in particular since the Covid pandemic struck.
Well it seems like the folks at the Credit Union have been listening to what’s been going on as today they’ve launched both Google Pay and Fitbit pay for all their current account customers.
Technology for the times
Mobile payment options such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Fitbit Pay have become increasingly popular and, rather unfortunately, necessary due to the Covid pandemic as they allow customers to avoid having to carry a card, touch keypads, or even handle and exchange cash.
And data released from AIB back in April showed a surge in the use of contactless and mobile payments in Ireland shortly after the onset of the global pandemic here.
Mobile payments also aren’t subject to the €50 limit that applies to contactless payments made with your physical card, meaning you can tap and pay for whatever you want!
Banks have been responding to the changed circumstances and increased demand for contactless payments in due course - BOI launched Google Pay in August, while PTSB, An Post and BOI all launched Apple Pay in November.
And now the Credit Union has gotten on board as well.
Speaking about the launch, Seamus Newcombe, Chief Executive of currentaccount.ie said:
The use of digital wallet payments provides a safer, more secure way to pay that removes the need to handle payment cards, touch physical buttons or exchange cash. It’s the modern way to pay, particularly given the times we live in. And, with the Credit Union Current Account, the good news is contactless payments are free.
This latest enhancement to our current account will benefit the growing number of people who have discovered the advantages of doing their day-to-day banking through the Credit Union, whilst also supporting their local community.
Customers can use Google Pay and Fitbit Pay wherever contactless payments are accepted. You simply hold your mobile phone and/or Fitbit device near a payment terminal to make a payment.
What fees and charges apply?
When it comes to charging, all the providers treat contactless payments made with your physical card, and those made with your phone, the same.
The Credit Union is no different; customers won't be charged any extra for using Google or Fitbit Pay - it’ll be incorporated into the €4 monthly fee, which also includes chip and pin transactions, online transactions, and direct debits and standing orders.
At the moment Ulster Bank is the only retail bank in Ireland that charges its current account customers for contactless payments (including mobile payments from Apple and Google Pay), but at just 1 cent per transaction it shouldn't break the bank!
Compare current account options
If you’re looking for a new current account, comparing options has never been easier with bonkers.ie!
Take a look at this blog on which bank has the best value current account at the moment or find out more by listening to our recent bonkers.ie podcast episode where we took a deep dive into the world of current accounts.
If you want to learn about the steps involved in switching, have a read of our current account switching guide.
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Get in touch
Are you a fan of mobile payments and have you been using less cash since the start of the pandemic?
And what do you think of today's announcement from the Credit Union?