Making sure we continue to support our POca customers

Making sure we continue to support our POca customers

At Post Office, we’re here, in person, for the people who rely on us – and we want to make sure that the elderly and vulnerable customers in the communities you serve can continue to rely on our support after the Post Office Card Account (POca) service closes.

We know how important their local Post Office is to POca customers and how important POca customers are to you, your branch and Post Office. With your support, we aim to encourage POca customers to move their benefits or pension payments on to a different bank, building or credit union account, serviced under our Banking Framework agreement with over 30 UK banking partners. This way, they can keep coming back to Post Office to withdraw their money at your branches using our Everyday Banking services.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are committed to closing the service as early as November 2021 and replacing POca. As you’ll be aware, DWP have re-started sending letters to POca customers since Monday 10 August about moving their benefits or pension payment to an alternative account.  

When your POca customers come into branch for their cash, this is an opportunity to talk to them about switching to another account. Starting this week (w/c Monday 26 October), we’re trialling a new POca information leaflet in 1,000 branches, which contains all the details the customer will need about switching their account, which Postmasters can give out along with our Everyday Banking leaflet. We plan to distribute the new POca information leaflet more widely around the network early next year.

Engaging with your POca customers

Head of Post Office Card Account, Ross Borkett, said: “We believe it is in the best interest of our POca customers to inform them about upcoming changes to the service. Moving their payment to another account is the best way they can continue to access their money in the Post Office. If not, they may find themselves having to use a different product in the future that they cannot conveniently access at the Post Office. We’d really like to support you in face-to-face conversations with your POca customers by handing out our POca and Everyday Banking leaflets. We believe this is the best way to encourage them to use an alternative account and continue to access their cash in your branch.

“Some Postmasters have asked me why we are trying to convert customers now, and not waiting until the end of the contract. We expect DWP to start migrating customers who have not converted on to their new service before the end of the contract. If we do not act now, we may find that these customers have no choice but to be moved to the new service and we risk losing them as a banking customer. It may be challenging for elderly and more vulnerable members of society to have to go elsewhere to collect their payments and we know you would much rather be able to continue to support POca customers in your branches.”

Look out for further information in Branch Focus. We will provide updates on the POca replacement product when more information becomes available. If you have any questions, please email poca.questions@postoffice.co.uk.