Post Office is making two of its products, Payout Now and Fast PACE (a pre-authorised cheque encashment service) available to all UK’s banks, building societies and credit unions. The move is so they can be offered to any of their customers who are most in need of access to cash simply and speedily.
The improved services mean that self-isolating or vulnerable citizens affected by the coronavirus pandemic can now contact their financial institution and arrange to withdraw cash quickly from their normal accounts through any local Post Office branch, with the help of a friend, family member, carer or local support worker.
Payout Now is the Post Office’s one time voucher service that is available to all banks, building societies and credit unions to enable them to send a barcode voucher to their customers via text, email or in the post and which can be exchanged for cash in any Post Office branch.
The Post Office has always run a pre-authorised cheque encashment (PACE) service that enabled vulnerable customers to contact their bank and arrange to cash a cheque at a Post Office branch. Working with HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Finance, the Post Office has launched its Fast PACE service. Customers can now name an individual, such as carer or family member, to cash a pre authorised cheque on their behalf at a Post Office branch.
Martin Kearsley, Banking Director at the Post Office, said: “Being able to easily access cash is a vital service for older people and those self-isolating. Our Payout Now and Fast PACE services mean they can access cash quickly and securely to repay someone for a helpful service like shopping, or simply manage their finances, providing peace of mind that cash can be securely sourced with the help of any trusted helper.”
In order for customers to be able to take advantage of both of these products, they need to contact their bank or building society. Their banking provider will then inform the Post Office of the customer’s account details and the Post Office will then arrange for that customer to be able to withdraw cash at their local branch.
To use the Payout Now service offered by Post Office, a customer needs to contact their bank, building society or credit union who will be able to issue a barcode voucher to their customer. A one time use barcode voucher will be issued for a nominated amount and will be sent to the customer via SMS text, email or post. The barcode voucher can be exchanged in a Post Office branch on their behalf by a family member, friend, carer or volunteer for cash.
For Fast PACE, a customer will need to contact their bank and inform them that they want to withdraw cash using the Fast Track Cheque Encashment service. The bank will then inform the Post Office of the maximum cheque amount they are allowed to cash. The customer can arrange for any family member, friend, carer or volunteer to collect the cheque from them. They complete the cheque as normal, payable to ‘The Post Office’, print the name on the back of the cheque of the third party collecting it for them and sign that side too.
That person then presents the cheque with their own ID such as bank card or driving license. They can do this at the Post Office or any other Post Office that is open. They then take the cash back to the individual who is self-isolating. The Fast PACE service also means that if a helper has bought supplies for someone self-isolating, they can be reimbursed immediately by simply presenting the customer’s cheque at any Post Office.