To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the maximum payment amount that can be collected in a single transaction using the Payment Exception Service at a Post Office or pay point outlet is set at £100 requiring some claimants to make multiple transactions to access the full amount of their benefits or pension.
The most secure way to receive payment is through a bank account. For those customers who are unable to open or manage a bank, building society or credit union account, the DWP’s new Payment Exception Service has been designed as a simple service to ensure customers have access to cash. Vouchers are uploaded to a card or sent electronically via SMS text or email. A customer can print their emailed vouchers and present them to the retailer. The maximum amount of a voucher is £100 so a customer may receive more than one voucher on their payment due date. Customers must cash the full amount of the voucher but do not have to cash all of their vouchers at the same time. This is a similar process to when customers used to be issued with Order Books and Girocheques.
Payment Exception Service vouchers can be encashed at over 26,000 PayPoint outlets nationally as well as Post Offices nationwide. The service provided by this contract meets DWP’s statutory requirement to ensure all customers can access payments, including where standard banking is not available to them.
The £100 voucher amount represents a value that protects vulnerable customers from being required to withdraw and carry large sums and is one that the PayPoint Retailer network can support.