Permanent TSB has launched a system for people who can’t get a credit card to buy stuff on-line. Basically, the deal is this: you go into a shop and buy a credit card voucher for a set amount. The voucher has a credit card number on it, and you receive security details by email or text message.
It’s a little pricey, but not completely crazy – costs EUR 6 or 7 per transaction, including the hidden ‘gotcha’ costs.
The irony is that people who are wealthy enough to have a credit card can transfer money almost for free, and people who are poor have to pay 4 or 5 percent. That’s why they say it’s a rich man’s world, I guess.
Still, it’s good to see banks doing something for poor people, illegal immigrants and other ‘unbanked’ people. It will be interesting to see if they run into money-laundering issues.