Benefit and pension Post Office account payments to end in in NI: Dept. urges people to switch

Local people who receive their benefits and/or pensions into a Post Office card account (POca) have been urged to take action as the end of the POca contract approaches.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 2:18 pm

The Department of Communities said people were “encouraged to open a mainstream account such as a bank, building society or similar account as soon as possible”, although no cut off date has been confirmed.

“Payment to a mainstream account is the preferred method of payment as it is considered to be the most efficient, secure and reliable method of payment,” a spokesperson said.

Customers who cannot open or manage a mainstream account can be paid into the bank account of a trusted friend or family member or will be offered to migrate to the new Payment Exception Service, which will primarily use the Paypoint and Post Office network to cash vouchers. This will allow customers to access funds across a wider spectrum of locations and venues going forward.”

Money. (File picture)

The Department said the majority of banks’ personal customers are now able to withdraw or deposit cash and cheques 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.

Poeople who do not open a mainstream account will be automatically migrated to the new ‘Payment Exception Service’, some of them from this week.

Local people can seek advice from Advice NI (0800 915 4604 or or Money Advice Service on (0800 138 7777 or, for free independent advice.

Around 41,000 people in the north currently acces payments via a Post Office account.