Post Office launches cash delivery service to help vulnerable customers
Thousands of vulnerable people in England who are shielding at home and receive benefits such as pensions will be able to have cash payments delivered directly to them.
This is due to an initiative involving the Post Office, which has switched its travel money delivery business to help, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
It means that people who must avoid leaving home because of the risk of infection can still get the cash they need.
The Post Office has repurposed part of its foreign exchange cash delivery business to enable the overnight delivery of cash and meet demand for the initiative.
State benefits such as pensions can be paid into Post Office Card accounts.
The DWP has initially identified 27,000 vulnerable customers, in England, who are shielding at home.
The DWP is proactively contacting people in this group to make sure they can still access their payments and let them know cash can potentially be delivered directly to their door.
It will tell the Post Office who needs cash deliveries. The Post Office will then make sure money is sent to their home by special delivery, arriving by 9pm the following day.
Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said: “This joint initiative enables us to reach out directly to those most likely to need support, and get cash delivered to their door where necessary.
“Thanks to the hard work of DWP and Post Office staff, vulnerable customers can rest assured there is help available if they need it.”
Nick Read, chief executive at the Post Office, said: “I am delighted that Post Office has been able to switch its travel money delivery business to get cash directly to those that need it most.
“Working with the DWP, we are able to help some of the most vulnerable in our society, including those who have been asked to shield themselves at home, with the ability to deliver cash directly to their door.”
Postal affairs minister Paul Scully said: “Vulnerable people may be self-isolating but they are not alone.
“This vital service will ensure the Government can get cash to people that need it, without them having to leave their homes.
“I want to thank postmasters and their teams for their continued hard work to support our communities across the UK.”
The Post Office recently announced that two of its cash access products – called Fast PACE and Payout Now – have been made available to the UK’s banks, building societies and credit unions.
These products can be offered to their customers who are self-isolating and require cash.
The Post Office is also considering how to make its new cash delivery service available to the UK’s financial institutions and who can offer it to their customers.
Post Office customers can see how coronavirus may affect Post Office services on its website.
NatWest also announced on Wednesday that it had launched a new “card for carers” to support vulnerable customers.
The card can be topped up by up to £100 and given to a trusted person or carer to enable them to make purchases on behalf of the customer.
To enhance security, the card will be linked to the customer’s existing bank account but kept separate on the bank’s systems.
The card will not share a Pin or long card number with the customer’s existing debit cards and ATM withdrawals are restricted to £50, as well as being subject to NatWest’s fraud monitoring systems.