Blow to vulnerable bank customers as Nationwide scraps service allowing them to make payments over the phone
Nationwide is scrapping a vital service that allows customers to make payments easily over the telephone.
It means that from October 8, vulnerable customers who do not use the internet will have to visit a branch when they need to transfer money or pay bills.
Consumer experts say this is yet another blow to people who are not comfortable managing their account online and warn that more organisations may follow suit.
Nationwide is scrapping a vital service that allows customers to make payments easily over the telephone
Martyn James, who formerly worked for the Financial Ombudsman, says: ‘Removing essential services such as telephone payments will only penalise people who need help the most. It’s clear that the industry can’t be trusted to police itself.’
Nationwide claims that fewer than 2,000 customers have made payments using its telephone service in the past year — and the ‘vast majority’ of these also use online or mobile banking.
The building society says that while its decision is not a cost-cutting exercise, updating the relevant systems is not sustainable given the number of users.
Customers will still be able to call with day-to-day enquiries and move money between their Nationwide accounts.
Nationwide’s Specialist Support Service will also help the most vulnerable customers on a case-by-case basis.