RBS mimics Starling Bank with spare debit card for Covid-19 vulnerable

By John Reynolds on Monday 27 April 2020

Digital Banking

Called the ‘companion card’, the card can be topped up by up to £100 every five days.

 RBS mimics Starling Bank with spare debit card for Covid-19 vulnerable
Image source: RBS building, Bishopsgate, London/RBS.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has launched a debit card which can be used by a carer or trusted person of a vulnerable customer, who might struggle to get out of the house during the coronavirus lockdown.

Called the 'companion card', it mirrors a similar-type card launched by Starling Bank called the 'connected card' at the start of the month. 

The Edinburgh-based bank, which owns the RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank brands, said it could be used by customers to "pay for essential goods".

The card can be topped up by up to £100 and given to a trusted person of carer to allow them to make purchases of the individual.  The £100 limit can be refreshed every five days. By comparison, the Starling Bank has a credit limit of £200.

To bolster security the RBS card will be associated with the customer's existing bank account but kept separate on the bank's systems.

The 'companion 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 monitored for fraud. 

Les Matheson, CEO, Personal Banking at NatWest 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."

To soften the impact of Covid-19, RBS is also offering vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation a free-free cash delivery service to their door.

RBS said almost £250,000 has been delivered to around 750 customers to sate since March 25.

Also, RBS customers can request a 'get cash' code which allows a trusted third-party to make ATM withdrawals up to £100 on someone's behalf from any NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank ATMs.

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