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They're here: Credit Unions have launched debit cards for the first time

The card is being rolled out in 11 Credit Unions around the country to start with.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

A NUMBER OF Credit Unions across the country are launching their first debit cards, which will be available to over 350,000 members.

The new debit MasterCard can be used for ATM transactions, contactless payments and online purchases. The roll-out of the new card will begin in June.

The eleven Credit Unions involved are Gurranabraher, First South in Cork, Tullamore, Mullingar, Waterford, St Canice’s Kilkenny, Navan, Tralee, Health Services Staff, Mitchelstown and Ballinasloe.

However, any Credit Union can opt to use the cards, and it is expected that more will start using them over the coming months

The charges when using the debit card will differ depending on each Credit Union. For example, the Tralee Credit Union will be charging a €1 quarterly fee, 15c per point of sale and 48c per ATM transaction.

Capture Comparison of charges

Lodgements and withdrawals will remain free of charge for Credit Union customers, in comparision to charges from banks.

People often chose the Credit Union as a way of saving, so will having a debit card impact this savings method?

Fintan Ryan, Chairperson of the DCG Card Services and CEO of Tralee Credit Union, says it won’t.

We have had two ATMs in the Tralee Credit Union for the last seven years and savings have actually gone up.

People have the option of opening two accounts if they want to save, says Ryan.

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A share account (savings account) will not be able to be accessed via an ATM with the new card, whereas an access account will be able to make use of the debit card.

Credit Union Fintan Ryan outside Tralee Credit Union Source: Credit Union

The debit card was rolled out due to demand from Credit Union members after 84% stated they wanted a debit card in a recent survey.

Ryan said the card will give members more flexibility and works with the existing CU Online and CU Anywhere mobile app services.

Read: Credit unions got no official government response to their €5 billion housing offer

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Roisin Nestor

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