Post Office Card Account

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to extend the use of Post Office card accounts beyond 2021.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Post Office card account contract ends in November 2021. There are currently no plans to extend this contract.

The DWP has written to customers who use the Post Office card accounts to encourage them to receive payment into a mainstream account. This is part of our policy of reducing reliance on payment exception services and promoting financial inclusion through the use of mainstream accounts. Mainstream accounts offer more features and reduce the cost to the taxpayer. One of the key messages we highlight, is that 99% of banks’ personal accounts enable customers to withdraw cash, deposit cash and cheques, and make balance enquiries at a Post Office counter via its network of 11,600 branches.

For those claimants and pensioners who are unable to open a mainstream account, the DWP will implement an alternative payment service that allows users to obtain cash payments in their local area (including suburban and rural locations) before the end of the Post Office card account contract in November 2021.

All DWP letters provide a free telephone number where the customer can call to discuss their payment options further and change their method of payment over the telephone. A copy of these letters will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

As we approach the end of the Post Office card account contract, the DWP and POL will work together to issue joint guidance on Post Office card account user’s options, to transfer to other payments methods.

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