AN Post is scrapping a key aspect of its current account, despite a scramble for switchers due to Ulster Bank closing down.
The current account available in post offices has been offering money back on spending using its account.
This includes up to 5pc off spending in Lidl and up to 10pc back on direct payments made to SSE Airtricity.
Supermac’s, Sunway Holidays and Intersport Elverys were among the other retailers that are part of the scheme.
But now An Post, whose retail division is headed up by Debbie Byrne, has decided to discontinue what it calls its MoneyBack offering as part of its current account from the end of April.
It is understood small numbers of customers were using the cash-back scheme, even though it was seen as a key selling point for the account.
Financial commentators said the timing of the move was strange given that thousands of people have begun to seek new current account providers with the wind-down of Ulster Bank.
The closure of 88 Bank of Ireland branches will also see post offices providing banking services to customers of that bank, in addition to those of AIB and Ulster Bank.
An Post has been offering its own current account, that comes with a debit card, for over three years now as it attempts widen its financial services offering in a bid to broaden its income stream.
However, the current account is seen as expensive with monthly maintenance fees of €5. There is also a fee of 60c for ATM withdrawals. All other day-to-day transactions are free.
The cash-back offer was seen as a way of keeping the costs of operating the account down for consumers.
Under the cash-back scheme a record is kept of how much is spent with participating retailers throughout the month. They then get a money-back payment the following month.
Money is credited to accounts on the last working day of the month following the month in which the transactions were made.
Both AIB and Bank of Ireland hiked their current account fees last year, despite fintechs Revolut and N26 expanding rapidly here.
Daragh Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said: “The timing is also terrible – in the same week that Ulster Bank has announced its exit from the Irish market, An Post is now pulling back on its current account offering.”
He said Bank of Ireland also pulled its Live Life Rewards scheme recently.
“It seems product innovation, rewards and choice are all lacking in the market at present unfortunately.”
An Post said: “As part of that ongoing review process, we have decided to end our MoneyBack programme from April 30.”
It said customers will continue to earn money back when they make a qualifying purchase with its retail partners until the programme ends in April.
It said it constantly reviews the features and benefits offered on its products.
An Post said that in the coming months it will be launching a number of new product features to help customers manage their money and stay in control of their finances.