Credit unions that offer checking accounts have added Apple Pay to their services.
The move comes as one of the state’s major credit unions has decided to no longer offer its members the option of a checking account.
Savvi Credit Union’s decision to drop its current account offering is seen as a blow to the industry to roll out current accounts along with debit cards.
It comes as credit unions are set to advocate for thousands of Ulster Bank current account customers to register with them, through the Currentaccount.ie brand.
Savvi chief executive Mark Beirne said the current account option was weak among members.
He said a review of the lender’s offer and member feedback led to the decision to shut down current account services from next January and focus on mortgages and SME lending. It would still offer online banking, he said.
The credit union has 23,000 members and was formed by a merger of lenders serving BSE workers; people who work for Mediahuis Ireland, the Independent Irish editor; with the credit union for Irish weather Staff.
It has assets of 380 million euros and saw its surplus increase by 15% to 303,000 € last year.
Other credit unions are said to be ready to launch the checking account, which comes with a Mastercard debit card, through the Currentaccount.ie brand.
Forty-five of the state’s largest credit unions are now registered to offer the account, with approximately 50,000 accounts opened.
The Currentaccount.ie brand already offers Google Pay and Fitbit Pay, as well as debit cards, online banking and a mobile app. It has now added Apple Pay for those with an iPhone or Apple Watch.
Seamus Newcombe of Currentaccount.ie said that Apple Pay is a secure, private payment method that eliminates the need to hand over a debit card to someone else, touch physical buttons, or redeem money. ‘silver.
Members of participating credit unions hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near a payment terminal to make a contactless payment.
He said every Apple Pay purchase is secure because it is authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID or a device password, as well as a one-time, one-time dynamic security code.
Five other credit unions have signed up to offer the checking account, according to Mr. Newcombe of Currentaccount.ie, which was set up by the credit unions to provide the checking account.
Licensed by the Central Bank, the credit union checking account offers a Mastercard debit card, free point-of-sale and contactless payments, free standing orders and debit processing, and mobile and internet banking services.
There is a monthly fee of € 4, which financial experts said was the best value on the market.
There is also an overdraft facility, but credit unions do not charge additional interest on unauthorized overdrafts.
Mr Newcombe said his organization and member credit unions will advocate for some of the 500,000 checking accounts that are expected to be closed when Ulster Bank closes.