Saturday 20 January 2018

Over-the-counter cash limits show how those with little money matter little still

Minister Michael Noonan
Minister Michael Noonan

Seamus Boland

There is a date in the future when the good people in Bank of Ireland will have moved on to be replaced by some kind of artificially intelligent beings. These will probably look like human beings, but will clearly lack the traits necessary to denote humanity. It will not be surprising then if they make decisions on a regular basis that, on the face of it, will exclude the concerns of ordinary people.

Their decisions will look like the one announced on Tuesday by the Bank of Ireland to limit the interaction between human beings for tasks such as lodging or withdrawing sums of money over the counter.

They will happily justify paperless billing, even though not everyone uses or has access to email, either because they have no internet connectivity or they have not learned how to use it. The corporate message, completely devoid of irony, will promote the new era of modern banking and in a very subtle way smooth over the concerns and practical difficulties which this will cause to some of its customers. According to the bank, only 4pc of us use its services in this way and so it feels it is time to phase them out completely.

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