Post Office card accounts
Benefits are usually paid straight in to your bank, building society or credit union account.
This is the best option for the majority of benefit and pension recipients as it provides access to a wider range of financial services.
The Post Office card account service will close in November 2022
The advantages of a mainstream account include:
- increased flexibility of withdrawing money from a variety of places, including a wide range of banks and cash machines
- utility companies offer discounts for paying household bills by direct debit
- helps with effective budgeting
- payment of salary
- cashless transactions
- most bank accounts can be accessed free of charge, at the Post Office counter or cash machine
- a secure way for you to receive your benefit or pension
The Payment Exception Service
Since 2 August 2021, a new payment exception service was introduced for customers who cannot open or manage a bank, building society or credit union account.
It is intended as a short-term method of payment only which must be replaced as soon as you are able to open a bank/ building society, credit union account.
If you were previously paid into a Post Office card account and cannot open or manage a bank account you will automatically have been moved to the new Payment Exception Service between August 2021 and May 2022.
The new service replaces both Post Office card accounts (POca) and Her Majesty’s Government Payment Exception Service (HMGPES).
It is a voucher based service which can be paid by Payment Card, SMS text or Pdf via email.
To cash the voucher, customers can present their card, phone or printed voucher with the appropriate proof of identity to any Post Office branch or PayPoint outlet and exchange the vouchers for cash.
Vouchers will be issued up to the value of £100 and the full value of the voucher must be withdrawn.
Cashing vouchers is dependent on the payment outlet having available cash. You may need to visit more than one payment outlet to retrieve the full value of all vouchers as cash availability cannot be guaranteed at all payment outlets
Vouchers must be cashed within 90 days.
You have 90 days to collect your payment and failure to do so will result in payment expiring. If the vouchers run out, you will need to be contacted to arrange for the payment to be reissued which may take additional time.
Further information can be found at Payment Exception Service or via the PES telephony helpline number 0800 015 2902.