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Credit Unions could be using debit cards by next year

The facility could be in place for individual credit unions next January.

Image: Credit and debit cards via Shutterstock

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS may be able to avail of debit cards as early as next January, as the movement takes on more personal finance capabilities.

Under plans from CUSOP, a group founded to examine payment methods in credit unions, the facility will be available to individual branches next year, subject to Central Bank approval.

The adoption of the system would then be up to individual credit unions.

Kevin O’Donovan, the CEO of CUSOP, told TheJournal.ie that the cards are part two of CUSOP’s plan.

The first part of the plan is to ensure that all credit unions can handle electronic money transfers.

“We’d be wholesaling the facility to credit unions, but it would be a debit card like any other credit card in the market.”

The major selling point of the credit union card would be lower fees, with CUSOP a non-profit company established  and funded by a group of 170 credit unions.

“Once we get the credit unions live on the basic service, then it will be up to the individual credit unions.

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“I have no idea what the fees would be like just yet.

“The beauty is that we’re a not-for-profit entity so by definition you would expect that the cards would be at least as cost effective, if not cheaper [than banks].

“In terms of transaction fees, I’m not exactly what a bank charges, but we would be 60 or 70 per cent lower than that.

“I’m not saying that we could match that, but it would certainly be cheaper.”

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