NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank announced earlier this week the introduction of a new “companion card,” which is described as a supplement to their existing current accounts that will enable vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation to give trusted volunteers a way to pay for their essential goods. The companies revealed that the companion card is the latest in a series of innovations that they have introduced in response to the coronavirus crisis to protect vulnerable customers and enhance their ability to pay for essentials while protecting themselves.
“To enhance security, the carers card will be associated with the customer’s existing bank account but kept separate on the bank’s systems. The card does not share a PIN or long card number with the customer’s existing debit cards and ATM withdrawals are restricted to £50, as well as being subject to fraud monitoring systems.”
Customers may also request a “Get Cash” code that enables a trusted third-party to make ATM withdrawals up to £100 on someone’s behalf from any NatWest, Royal Bank (in Scotland) or Ulster Bank NI ATMs. Les Matheson, CEO, Personal Banking at NatWest, added:
“Tackling issues around access to finance can be difficult for some. But we are committed to finding innovative solutions that keep our customers safe and able to pay for the things they need, when they need them – whether that’s digitally via our app, via this new card, or through cash.”