24 February, 2022
The National Australia Bank (NAB) has ordered staff at its branches to refuse to accept payment from customers wishing to settle credit card bills over the counter.
Instead of paying their card bills at NAB branches, from February 21, customers will be directed to go to a Post Office to pay the bills if they wish to complete the transaction over-the-counter. Alternately customers will be “educated” to pay their credit card bills online using the NAB’s digital platforms.
Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano said banning over-the-counter credit card payments was a policy designed to reduce foot traffic to NAB branches, reduce banks worker jobs and ultimately close down more branches.
“This is an outrageous bid by NAB to block its customers from using branches for a common transaction many older people make,” Ms Angrisano said.
“There is no other reason for the NAB to specifically target credit card payments, except to force customers onto digital banking.”
“Telling NAB’s customers they can’t pay credit card bills at the branch represents a new low for consumers and will disadvantage older people who do not have the same level of digital literacy as younger customers.”
For the past year, NAB staff have been directed to accelerate the push for customers to sign up for digital banking with specific training programs for branch staff to influence and educate customers to make the transition.
Training documents tell NAB Customer Advisors: “You are responsible for educating and engaging customers on smarter ways to bank, helping our customers save time, take control of their banking and making banking with NAB an exceptional experience.”
Ms Angrisano said: “All that is fine but imagine the backlash our members will receive from customers when they are told bills for the credit cards NAB issues can no longer be paid at the branch.”
“This is a very poor decision by the NAB’s management that will generate anger among customers and will clearly cost jobs and lead to the closure of more branches.”
“NAB’s standard reason for branch closures is the changing habits of customers but this clearly shows they are forcing the change and it is not the choice of the consumer.”
Ms Angrisano said the current Federal Government inquiry into the closure of bank branches in regional areas should be taking the NAB to task over the credit card issue.
“Instead, this sham inquiry is doing nothing to assist customers in hundreds of regional cities and towns across Australia which are losing bank branches.”
“This inquiry, headed by Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar is nothing but a stunt to give cover to LNP MPs and candidates who are constantly being harangued by constituents in the bush, angry over bank branch closures.”
Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079