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simple payments

 

lost in Granite
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I have been asked by a number of colleagues about the ending of simple payment cards, one social work colleague told me he had been advised on the phone by the DWP that the end would be either June or July this year.

can anyone confirm or refute this and maybe point me to were I can get more info.


thanks

lee

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Contact the Simple Payment helpline perhaps?

Simple Payment helpline
Telephone: 0845 600 0046
Textphone: 0800 032 5864

     
lost in Granite
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As ever the simplest advice is always the best. Thanks.
I did call the helpline and spoke with a customer adviser, he advised that the service is closing but they do not know when. He also advised that customers will be lettered that it is closing.

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Thanks for flagging this up, we cover simple payments in at least one of our factsheets so we’ll need to amend as and when this happens.

     
Andrew Dutton
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Did they say why?

     
lost in Granite
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The adviser I spoke to was a wee bit vague only that they know it’s going but not when, and to be honest I didn’t ask why.

     
Andrew Dutton
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Found this - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/372717/response/918823/attach/3/FOI 4415 Response Final.pdf

Perhaps it’s all part of the DWP’s moves to bully everyone in to getting a bank account no matter what (see also POCAs)

     
bigbill
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Looks like this payment method could now be on the way out as I have seen letters giving 90 days notice that this type of payment is ending and they need to get a bank or other suitable account within the 90 days.

     
Andrew Dutton
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Information on simple payments remains on gov.uk; i wonder if this has the same legal basis (i.e. none) as the attempt to push people off POCAs?

Any chance of getting hold of one of the letters?

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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I can’t remember if I posted it here but apparently there was some shenanigans about the contract for Simple Payment accounts and Citibank pulled out of providing them but they’ve now been recontracted (can’t remember who with) and they should be available for those people who need them.

I suspect the reason DWP are keen to try and encourage people to open “normal” bank accounts is that payments to Simple Payment accounts costs them more to process. See this FOI request Simple Payment account - is this option still available for new benefit claims? from late 2016:

The Simple Payment Service has only ever been intended for use by customers who cannot open or operate a bank, building society or Post Office card account. The policy relating to this has not changed. Making customer payments via the Simple Payment Service is considerably more expensive than making payments directly into a personal bank, building society or credit union account; however, the service is available in emergency cases where it is not possible to use one of these options.

Current guidance instructs advisers to hold a method of payment discussion with all new customers to ascertain their payment details. Payment into a third party account is permitted on the customer’s instruction but is not mandatory. Following this discussion customers who are unable to access any other method of payment will be able to receive payment via the Simple Payment Service

     
bigbill
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Andrew Dutton - 28 November 2017 10:10 AM

Information on simple payments remains on gov.uk; i wonder if this has the same legal basis (i.e. none) as the attempt to push people off POCAs?

Any chance of getting hold of one of the letters?

I will upload the letter tomorrow.

     
bigbill
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Letter to big a picture to attach will try later to find a way round this

     
bigbill
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Letter attached

     

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Andrew Dutton
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Interesting - the letter says SP is ‘coming to an end in the near future’.  I can’t find any info that supports this, I found the same FoI as Paul T found (I have accidentally told the ‘whatdotheyknow’ site that it was never answered but that isn’t true, oops, I can’t undo the action!!!)

My oafishness on that front notwithtsanding, has anyone got an update or is it time for a new FoI?

 

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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What a terrible letter. It purports to give “at least 90” days’ notice, from “the date at the top of this letter”. But there is no exact date there, it just says “November 2017”. The reference to a “need to call” them before 30th November doesn’t seem to be related to this 90 day period, or to anything else.

In most other contexts (housing, employment), this could arguably be an invalid notice, because it doesn’t actually tell you when the notice period runs from or to. It doesn’t even convey the information: “this service won’t be withdrawn in the next 90 days, but probably will be at some later date”, because we don’t know when the 90 days start.