Digital voucher platform i-movo, which is part of the PayPoint Group, is working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and cloud-based clearing bank ClearBank to help deliver benefit payments in the UK to the unbanked, as part of a new initiative.
It is in response to a forthcoming change, which means that the previous system under which many UK benefits recipients who chose to receive their benefits in cash, collected their payments using a paper-based voucher system or a Post Office card account, is coming to an end.
Under the new initiative, called the Payment Exception Service (PES), each benefit/pension recipient can choose from a range of methods to receive their cash payment vouchers and these can be used to withdraw funds at any one of 28,000 PayPoint retailer outlets, or 11,500 Post Office branches from 9 September 2021.
By integrating with ClearBank’s API, i-movo will receive BACS and Faster Payments and translate these into secure digital vouchers, issued in real-time using an individual’s chosen delivery method, including an SMS, a unique barcode displayed on a smartphone, a PDF via email or a reuseable mag stripe plastic card.
Customers will also have access to their payments history online as part of the new service, while PayPoint will provide a helpline service.
PayPoint CEO Nick Wiles said: “Through this new service, the unbanked will be able to receive their benefit payments simply, safely and conveniently, just like those who do have access to a bank account.
“Fundamental to its success is i-movo’s leading secure digital voucher technology. By drawing upon its experience of the last three years, we have worked with DWP to deliver an innovative solution that brings new benefits to all stakeholders.
“However, this initiative has required an impressive level of teamwork, bringing together i-movo, the ClearBank platform and both the Post Office and PayPoint networks.”
Charles McManus, CEO of ClearBank, added: “Today it’s imperative that everyone is able to access the benefits of digitisation. We believe digital financial services offer an unmatched level of convenience that is crucial in ensuring no-one is left behind as we advance towards a digital-first future.
“This new service is an important step forward in providing help for vulnerable claimants – one that we are honoured to be a part of – and is testament to the vision of i-movo, PayPoint and the DWP.”