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Ireland’s largest bank cuts back on ATM services

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
A Bank of Ireland branch in the centre of Dublin. Pic: PA

In its push to compete with newer digitally oriented competitors, Ireland’s largest bank this week said that it would be removing several traditional ATM services, as it works on a new version of its mobile app.

Bank of Ireland said in an email to customers on Wednesday that they would no longer be able to top-up their mobile phones, pay bills, or request bank statements at ATMs.

The bank said it would provide different ways for customers to access these services.

It will also be cancelling some ATM-only bank cards, it said in the email.

New entrants to the banking industry, such as Revolut and Germany’s N26, threaten the more-established players, many of which have been slow to innovate and develop their mobile applications.

Just last month, N26 became Europe’s most valuable fin-tech start-up when it raised $300m (£230m) to fund its global expansion.

Irish banks have recognised the threat and have made moves to update their digital offerings.

“We are working on a new Bank of Ireland App which will have more features and better security,” the email to customers said.

Statistics published alongside in its annual report, which said that technology was “critical” to Bank of Ireland’s growth strategy, showed that the bank’s existing app had more than 10 million monthly “engagements” in 2018, a 25% increase on 2017.

It described almost 80% of its current account users as “digitally active.”

“We are replacing our core banking systems to improve efficiency and to enhance customer experience,” the report said.