Post office cash access scheme extended during coronavirus crisis

Main image: Melvin Square Post Office

A cash withdrawal scheme already running at the Post Office for those unable to leave home is being extended.

The Payout Now scheme is mainly targeted at the elderly who are self isolating or shielding during the pandemic – and can ask a family member, trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash using a single-use voucher.

This is also being offered to all banks, building societies and credit unions.

It means people stuck at home can have access to cash without having to hand over a pin or debit card to somebody else.

They tell their bank exactly how much they want to withdraw from their account, up to a limit set by the bank – and allow the trusted person to collect it on their behalf, in exchange for the voucher.

If the bank allows it, someone can ask for a one-time barcode sent via text, email or post for a stipulated amount.

Previously, only a named individual, such as a carer, could collect cash in this way on someone’s behalf.

Banking director at the Post Office, Martin Kearsley, said: “Being able to easily access cash is a vital service for older people and those self-isolating. 

“[This] means 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.”