Anyone who took extra money from a Bank of Ireland (BOI) ATM should realise "there's no such thing as free money”, Newstalk Tech Correspondent Jess Kelly has warned.
Jess told The Pat Kenny Show an issue on the BOI app allowed customers to transfer money from their bank accounts to their Revolut accounts, even if they did not have enough money.
Large queues formed outside ATMs around the country to retrieve this transferred money, and Gardaí were called to the scene of the so-called “free money” withdrawals.
BOI has since said the problems with the online banking service have been resolved – and any withdrawals made during the glitch will apply to accounts today.
'They know every cent you spent'
Jess said people should remember “there is no such thing as free money”.
“It is important to note that, if you were one of the people who went to an ATM and took out €500, you will be asked to pay that back,” she said.
The so-called “glitch” was not the free-money scheme many people seemed to believe it was, according to Jess.
“They know every cent that you spent," she said. "And they know every place that you spend every cent."
The rules apply to everyone, whether you used a BOI ATM or tried to be “glic” and used an AIB or any other bank’s ATM to withdraw money.
“The fact of the matter is it's not your money to have and so you will have to pay it back.”
— Denise Ross (@iDeniseRoss) August 15, 2023
Irish Examiner Business Reporter Cáit Caden said the “whole situation has added just more pain to households and consumers”.
“People have been dealing with bad apps and bad tech from banking for years and years now,” she said.
Ms Caden said the lack of choice in banks in Ireland means they can get away with issues like this.
“[BOI is] going to take a knock, but where are you going to go?” she said.
“We have three pillar banks in the country and so if they take a knock... they’re still going to be there.”
Jess said Irish banks need to find the "balance" between human customer service and efficient online technology.
“There are days it takes me 20 minutes to log in and pay my rent because I not only have to have a unique user identifier, I have to put in my date of birth, and then I have to put in three digits of a six-digit pin,” she said.
“There are multiple levels of security... then on a random Tuesday night they've given away 500 quid to everyone in the audience.”