The Leap Card has an auto-top up function where once your card balance falls below €10 it will be automatically topped up by direct debit. This is a very handy feature as it means you no longer have to keep track of the Leap Card balance. Unfortunately, it is not possible to set up a direct debit with the Leap auto-top up function on a non-Irish bank account. I could go on for hours about the stupidity and legality of this but instead I’m going to focus on the easiest way to top up a Leap Card if you have a N26 Account or other non-Irish bank account and an Android phone. Leap Card have launched a Leap Card Top Up app available on the Android Play Store. There is no Apple App yet as Apple do not give third party developers access to the NFC reader which this app requires.This isn’t as convenient as auto top-up but the time being it will have to do.
After installing the app and launching it you need to place the Leap Card to the back of your phone and hold it there until the next screen loads.
You will then be able to see the last 5 transactions as well as the current balance. Unfortunately you can’t see any further details about the transactions – ideally I’d like to be able to see the tag on and tag off locations for Irish Rail transactions for example.
There is also a tab for Top Up. Here you can select an amount between €5 and €150 to top up. The maximum balance on the leap card is €150. So if you have a balance of €20 the maximum you would be able to top up is €130. As I am just about to go travelling for a good while I only topped up by €5.
You are then able to choose whether to store the credit/debit card details for future top ups or not. If you select to save the details you must choose a 4 digit pin which will be used in future to authorise the top up. Once the payment is complete, you then must hold the Leap Card to the phone again to finalise the top up.
Once this is done, the top up is shown on the app and is fully loaded on the Leap Card.
I just tried to top up again to see what it is like the second time. When I open the app the Leap Card is already linked to the app so I don’t need to hold it to the phone the initial time. You do however need to hold the Leap Card to the App after purchasing a top up. Topping up in total only takes around 10 seconds which is very good.
Overall, while this isn’t ideal and I firmly believe Leap Card should support non-Irish accounts for direct debits (as required by EU Law) at least this will work as a stop-gap. Although, from what I’ve heard from the NTA it will take years before they accept non-Irish accounts for direct debits.