Bank of Ireland won't let you pay credit card bill with cash
BANK of Ireland customers will lose the option of paying their credit card bills with cash.
The bank is also slashing services at 40 branches, instead of closing them.
The moves are part of major cost-cutting measures, the Irish Independent has learned.
On Monday week, October 22, the bank will withdraw the option for customers to make over-the-counter cash payments on credit card accounts.
Instead, they will have to pay online or use self-service machines.
A Bank of Ireland spokeswoman said: "Lodgment ATMs are in place in branches. Customers can also use our phone and online services to pay their credit card."
Bank of Ireland, which got a €4.7bn bailout from the State, is the only major retail lender not to shut branches. It has insisted it has no plans to close any of its 254 outlets.
AIB, EBS, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB are shutting branches.
But Bank of Ireland is reducing services at more than 40 branches. The plans are understood to involve limiting cash services in those branches to certain days of the week.
Counter cash services would only be available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. On the days when no cashiers are available, customers would have to lodge money using automated machines in the branches.
The move follows a pilot project undertaken last year, where customers were encouraged to do their own banking using self-service machines.
The bank claimed the move would create greater efficiencies. "We want to offer our customers the opportunity for more efficient day-to-day banking but also ensure they get the most out of the time they spend with us," the spokeswoman said.
The bank denied that customers would lose out, and instead insisted the bank wanted to deliver an "enhanced customer experience and provide greater access to our people and their expertise".
Meanwhile, cuts in deposit rates at banks and building societies are prompting thousands to pay down debt instead of saving. Fearful consumers are also redoubling their efforts to pay down debts because they fear for their financial futures, a new survey has found.
The trends to pay down debt rather than save surplus cash was picked up in the latest Nationwide UK (Ireland) savings index.
There has been an ongoing fall in deposit rates for months now as banks have made a concerted effort to stop bidding up deposit rates to attract deposits.
Bank of Ireland and RaboDirect are the latest deposit takers to reduce their rates.