Digital payments expert, PayPoint, is calling upon local councils across the UK to employ technology that is readily available and operational within weeks, to enable the 1.3m people in the UK without a bank account that may need support in obtaining and redeeming a council tax rebate.
80% of the UK population is eligible to receive a council tax rebate worth £150 April 2022. Whilst in Scotland, councils will be discounting a future council tax payment to the amount of £150, those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are facing a significant challenge in distributing funds to individuals, particularly the financially vulnerable.
Danny Vant, Clint Services Director, PayPoint said: “This rebate will act as a lifeline for many families and individuals across the country. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve all read about and started to feel the rising cost of living and an extra £150 will go a long way. With our digital payment solutions, we are ready to support councils in quickly distributing and redeeming the rebate.”
PayPoint’s Cash Out technology and payment infrastructure offer a solution by enabling local authorities to issue digital or physical vouchers to their customers. This can be implemented within weeks, something which may be beneficial given the rapid deployment of the government council tax rebate in April.
PayPoint’s Cash Out product is currently used by one in four principal councils* across the UK, who typically use the solution for welfare or emergency fund payments. This means there are a significant number of councils nationwide that may struggle to deliver financial relief to many households where £150 could make a significant positive impact.
Since the start of the pandemic, PayPoint has aided local government in its support of vulnerable people by dispensing more than 3.5m emergency fund vouchers, worth £166.5m. Issued under a range of government campaigns, including the Free School Meals and Winter Hardship schemes, the vouchers were distributed by local authorities across the UK and redeemed by consumers using PayPoint’s Cash Out solution at its nationwide network of 28,000 stores.
Over 99% of urban households are within one mile of a PayPoint location, which includes Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, the Co-op, Spar, and One-Stop, and 98.3% of rural households within 5 miles.
Those eligible for council tax rebates will also benefit from the convenience provided by PayPoint’s retailer network and Cash Out’s capabilities. Crucially, they will find PayPoint affiliated stores are open longer than other redemption locations, both weekdays and weekends. In total, 36% of all vouchers redeemed in the last twelve months through Cash Out were outside typical working hours, demonstrating the success of the service in providing convenient and immediate financial support. The highest redemption rates were on the weekend, where 60% of transactions took place outside typical working hours on Saturday and 100% on Sunday. From Monday to Friday, the rates of redemption outside of normal hours sat between 28% and 30%.