Ulster Bank launches card for carers to support vulnerable customers and those in isolation

Ulster Bank, part of NatWest Group, has announced the introduction of a new ‘companion card’ – a supplement to their existing current account that will enable vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation to give trusted volunteers a way to pay for their essential goods.

  • New supplement to existing current account offers quick & easy way for vulnerable customers to pay for essentials using a trusted carer or volunteer
  • Move comes alongside introduction of fee-free postal cash deliveries
  • Ulster Bank also offers codes that enable withdrawals from Ulster Bank ATMs without a bank card and has established dedicated customer service lines to assist the vulnerable and NHS workers, with wait times of just a few minutes.

The card can be topped up by up to £100 and given to a trusted person or carer to enable them to make purchases on behalf of the individual. 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 Ulster Bank’s fraud monitoring systems.

The move is the latest in a series of innovations that Ulster Bank has introduced in response to the coronavirus crisis to protect vulnerable customers and enhance their ability to pay for essentials while protecting themselves.

The bank also offers vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation a fee-free cash delivery service to their door. Additionally, customers can 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 or Ulster Bank NI ATM.

Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank said: ‘We’re working hard to support customers and provide help to people across Northern Ireland, especially those most in need. By passing the companion card to a trusted volunteer, it will give those customers in extended isolation or vulnerable situations the confidence that they can get help with essential goods safely and securely.’

Customers can access either the cash delivery service or enquire about a companion card by phoning Ulster Bank’s dedicated vulnerable customer lines on 0800 092 4238. Customers using these lines can access a full range of normal banking services.

Welcoming the launch, Les Matheson, CEO, Personal Banking at NatWest Group said: ‘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.’

‘We will continue to listen to and be guided by our customers in introducing services that meet their needs and provide meaningful help.’