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CREDIT unions in Ireland will soon roll out electronic payment services to members.

The Credit Union Service Organisation for Payments (CUSOP) has been granted a payment institution licence by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The new service will allow credit union members to have payments from a bank, employer or social welfare office paid directly into their credit union account by electronic transfer.

"CUSOP has created the infrastructure for much-needed electronic payment services for credit unions who wish to offer electronic fund transfers for their members," said CUSOP CEO Kevin O'Donovan.

"We know that these services are in demand by members and that credit unions are eager and willing to offer them – we have now delivered the means for them to do so in a safe and secure environment."

Kieron Brennan, CEO of the Irish League of Credit Unions, said that the granting of the licence was a very significant step forward for credit union members nationwide and would allow them an option to manage their finances in the future through credit unions.

"We are a firm supporter of the national payments plan announced by government earlier this year and we believe that reforming our payments system will provide cost competitiveness, greater security and convenience for 3.1million credit union members nationwide," Mr Brennan said.