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Dickson Encourages Post Office Card Account Users to Take Action

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has encouraged people who receive their benefits and/or pensions into a Post Office card account (POca) to take action before the POca contract ends. Mr Dickson said: “Anyone who has been using a POca should take action to open a mainstream account with a bank or building society. Such accounts are the most secure and reliable method of payment.

“For those who cannot open or manage an account, payment can be made into the mainstream account of a trusted friend or family member, or you can be migrated to the new Payment Exception Service.”

This service will primarily use the Paypoint and Post Office network to cash vouchers meaning that customers will be able to access funds across a wider spectrum of locations and venues The majority of banks' personal customers are now able to withdraw or deposit cash and cheques and make balance enquiries at Post Office counters, which means that switching payments to a mainstream account need not change how customers collect their monies at their local post office.

Those customers who do not open a mainstream account will be automatically migrated to the new Payment Exception Service to ensure future continuity of benefit and pension payments.

Mr Dickson concluded by saying: “It is preferential for individuals to set up their own mainstream accounts, however help is at hand for those who will have difficulties.”

The Department for Communities recognises that some customers may have difficulty with changing their payment method and will need help to choose an account that is right for their circumstances. Support is available via:

  • A dedicated free telephone service (0800 085 7133) which has been set up within the Department for Work and Pensions and offers POca users the opportunity to ask questions and seek support in choosing an account that meets their needs; or

  • Advice NI (0800 915 4604 ) or Money Advice Service on (0800 138 7777), for free independent advice.

Further information on the payment of benefits and pensions can be found at NI Direct.

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