Further to recent information, I am now writing with an update on a range of Post Office services we have made available to the high street banks, building societies and credit unions, and through the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to Post Office Card Account (POca) customers, which allows their nominated agent to access cash for them from a Post Office branch without the customer having to leave home. We hope this range of services will be particularly useful for those customers who are vulnerable, self-isolating or fall into the shielding cohort as part of the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Accelerated POca Nominated Agent Service
I am pleased to confirm that an accelerated, telephone-based, nominated agent process for POca customers who are not able to leave home is now open and taking applications. This new service allows any POca customer who is having trouble accessing their money to arrange for a nominated agent to collect cash from a Post Office branch on their behalf. To request this service the customer rings the POca helpline on 0345 722 3344, then selects option 1 and when prompted then holds for an advisor. The customer will need to have their POca card when making the call to verify their identity and will need to provide details of their nominated agent. A new POca card and pin number is then sent to the customer at their home address which can then be used by the customer’s agent to access cash on their behalf at any Post Office branch. The customer will receive separate statements showing the transactions undertaken using the nominated agent card. This new process removes the need for the customer to visit a Post Office branch to collect, complete and return the nominated agent form.
POca Cash Direct Service
As previously shared, we have recently launched a home cash delivery service on behalf of the DWP. This has been launched by the DWP for around 27,000 POca customers in England who are shielding, some of whom may be without help from friends or family members. The DWP are writing direct to the customers who they have identified as being particularly vulnerable to make them aware of the new service. Once we have been notified by DWP, money will be sent directly from our cash centre to the customer’s home, arriving by 9pm the following day using Royal Mail Special Delivery. This service is secure and quick, and will enable those who are most vulnerable to access the cash they need, while avoiding the need to leave their home. We have made this service available to any Government department and we are now in discussion with all the UK high street banks and building societies who may also have vulnerable customers that could benefit.
Payout Now and Fast PACE
The above new services for POca customers, are in addition to the two services we have already made available to all banks, building societies, and credit unions. “Payout Now”, a one-time use voucher system sent via text, email or letter, and “Fast PACE”, a third party cheque encashment service. These services enable those unable to leave home to withdraw cash quickly from their normal bank accounts through any local Post Office branch, with the help of a friend, family member, carer or local support worker. Access to these services does depend on the participation of financial institutions and we are talking to all banks, building societies and credit unions about their involvement.