Bank of Ireland (BoI) will end its so called mobile top up service from the end of March.
Customers will now be required to top up their phones with credit through their phone provider’s website or retail stores, a spokesperson for Bank of Ireland said in a statement. Post offices and Payzone retailers also provide the service, he said.
It’s the latest sign of retrenchment at the bank, which has shuttered branches and shifted services to post offices amid a drive to cut costs. In September the lender was hit with a €100.5 million fine from the central bank for its role in the tracker mortgage overcharging scandal.
The bank apologized to customers for any inconvenience caused by its move to discontinue its mobile phone top up service as it moves to reallocate resources to further develop its mobile banking app.
The bank is writing to customers to inform them that the function will no longer be available through its online and mobile banking platforms from March 31st.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience this change may cause,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to invest in and enhance the full range of our digital services. Since there are a wide range of online and in-store alternatives for mobile top ups, we are focusing on new features within the app for development. These include in-app card controls, helping customers take more control of their money by providing them with over 40 personalized insights into their spending, and biometric login (face or fingerprint recognition) to our mobile app.”
In the face of stiff competition from digital challenger banks like Revolut, BoI has undertaken a significant program of cost cutting in recent years while also attempting to overhaul its online offering.
In 2021, the bank closed one third of its branches on the island of Ireland, reducing its staff numbers by close to 17 percent since 2020.
BoI told the Oireachtas Finance Committee at the time that the lender “had seen a significant decline in in-branch transactions and a significant increase in digital transactions”.
In its 2021 annual report, BoI said it had 23 million visits on average per month to its digital channels, 86 percent of which were to its mobile app, up from 64 percent in 2020.
The lender, where Myles O’Grady was appointed chief executive in November, said before Christmas that it sees net interest income growing by about 10 percent in 2022 to €2.44 billion against the backdrop of rising interest rates.