Belfast Telegraph

Credit union offers first-ever pre-paid debit card

A North Belfast credit union has become the first in Northern Ireland to offer their members a pre-paid debit card.

Newington Credit Union said the card, which operates like a pay-as-you-go mobile phone, would give the convenience and security of paying by card without the risk of getting into debt or running up interest charges.

It is taking part in a debit card pilot scheme set up by the Irish League of Credit Unions and card provider DCR.

Gerry Murphy, president of Newington Credit Union, said: "A recent survey carried out by our credit union highlighted a desire for greater access to electronic services among our members.

"Our pre-paid debit card can meet that demand, in offering our members the facility to purchase goods online, by phone, and when travelling abroad. Cards can be loaded with money at the counter, or over the phone.

"Members can only spend what they load on to the card and there are no monthly bills," he added.

The initiative was praised by Belfast Lord Mayor Pat Convery, who said: "The new cards provide access to electronic payments for the unbanked in our community, and for those whose poor credit history prevents them from obtaining a credit card or debit card tied to a bank account."