Only 30% of Irish customers who are moving account have updated their direct debit originator with their new bank account details.
As the countdown to the departure of KBC and Ulster Bank from the Irish market begins, businesses and consumers are being urged to update their direct debit payments as they make the move.
The latest CBI data shows that 600,311 current and deposit accounts have been opened by the three remaining retail banks so far this year.
“Opening a new account is just the first step in the process”
Figures collected by Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) from a range of direct debit originators estimate that in the region of 30% of customers who are moving account have updated their direct debit originator with their new bank account details.
The journey ahead
“Over the last six months BPFI has been engaging with direct debit originators on a monthly basis to discuss emerging issues and to allow for key considerations to be highlighted at a broader level,” said BPFI CEO Brian Hayes.
“In particular, discussions have focused on the potential volume of customers required to update account details; communications with customers at industry and individual company level; the Switching Code and its operation; and considerations relating to payments including IBAN discrimination and direct debit mandates.”
A BPFI roundtable meeting yesterday (20 September) brought together financial services providers, the relevant regulatory authorities and a wide range of direct debit originators in order to have an open dialogue on the state of play across the various sectors in relation to the updating of direct debits and to ensure we are working closely together to provide as smooth a transition as possible for impacted customers.
“We know from recent industry figures that progress is being made by customers and their new providers in opening new accounts and indeed that 24% of KBC Bank and Ulster Bank accounts have been closed since the start of the year.
“However, opening a new account is just the first step in the process and we estimate from figures we have gathered from our ongoing engagement with direct debit originators, in addition to our own members, that around 30% of customers moving account have updated their direct debit originator with their new bank account details. This very much underlines the fact there is still a journey to be travelled and further action is required by both customers and the wider industry in this regard.”
Hayes said that as banks and other financial services providers, regulators and direct debit originators continue to intensify efforts to work together proactively by identifying and addressing issues and monitoring capacity, one of the key messages from the meeting was to urge customers, once they have opened a new account, to keep going with the process.
“This includes making a list of all your direct debits and working through this list to update all your providers with your new account details be it your utility company, phone or broadband provider, your insurance provider, or the Revenue Commissioners.
“Crucially we also want customers to know that banks and other financial services providers, along with direct debit originators are available to support them through this process. We would encourage consumers or businesses who are moving account to visit our website movingaccount.ie where they can find a wealth of in-depth information and advice including a list of some of the larger direct debit originators and information on how to update your account details for any direct debit arrangements you may have with them.”