Business

Coronavirus: Post Office to deliver cash to the vulnerable

Post office card Image copyright Post Office
Image caption Thousands of people have a Post Office card account

The Post Office has redesigned its overnight travel money delivery service to get cash to the most vulnerable people in England.

Some shielded individuals who must stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak are being contacted by the government to ensure they have access to cash.

Those with Post Office Card Accounts can have cash delivered to their door by the following day.

It is one of many schemes to ensure people are not financially isolated.

A range of supermarkets have introduced volunteer cards, which operate in a similar way to gift cards, allowing people to shop for a neighbour without having access to their bank card.

High Street bank NatWest is also introducing a "companion card" - allowing people in extended isolation to give trusted volunteers a way to pay for their essential goods.

The card can be topped up with up to £100 and is associated with the customer's existing bank account but kept separate on the bank's systems. It does not share a PIN or long card number with the customer's existing debit cards and cash machine withdrawals are restricted to £50.

The Post Office has already extended a single-use voucher scheme, with allows volunteers to withdraw cash from post office counters for vulnerable people.

Following criticism, it has now ensured all post office counters are fitted with protective glass to reduce the risk of infection between postmasters, postmistresses and customers and volunteers in branches.

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