Bank of Ireland (BOI) has launched a new carers’ debit card that allows caretakers to pay for essential goods on behalf of vulnerable and isolated customers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The caretakers could be trusted relatives, friends or designated members of a customer’s family such as a parent.

The new card is said to be a part of the bank’s Vulnerable Customer Unit (VCU), which provides banking support to customers in need during the current crisis.

The customers who have an account opened with the VCU can opt for the carers’ debit card.

The card bears the name of the carer and the customer to provide transparency and protection for both.

Moreover, the card comes with certain limits on cash withdrawals and its usage and spending is monitored by the VCU.

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BOI retail division CEO Gavin Kelly said: “When Covid-19 happened we prioritised cocooning supports and other initiatives that addressed an immediate need for our vulnerable customers.

“Carers provide our customers with invaluable emotional and physical support but it’s often difficult for them to help with managing day-to-day living expenses.

“We think the Carer’s Card is a really practical solution that helps our customers and their carers while providing protection and transparency to both.”