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Royal Bank of Scotland is introducing a new supplement card to existing current account holders that enables vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation to give trusted volunteers a way to pay for their essential goods.
The ‘companion 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 Royal Bank’s fraud monitoring systems.
The move is the latest in a series of innovations the Royal Bank has introduced in response to the coronavirus crisis to protect vulnerable customers and easier to pay for essentials.
The bank is also the first in the UK to offer vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation a fee-free cash delivery service to their door, with almost £250,000 delivered to around 750 customers since March 25.
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.
Les Matheson, CEO, Personal Banking, Royal Bank of Scotland 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.’
Customers can access either the cash delivery service or enquire about a companion card by phoning Royal Bank of Scotland’s dedicated vulnerable customer lines on 0800 051 4177. Customers using these lines can access a full range of normal banking services.