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Post Office Card Account

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) that those receiving payments from his Department may opt to use the Post Office card account on the same basis as any other method of payment and (b) that the process to select the option to use the Post Office card account is neutral in its effect as between alternative payment methods. (245472)

Opening a Post Office card account is already very straightforward and we have plans to make it even easier for customers by automating parts of the process. We provide information which helps customers choose the account which best meets their needs and circumstances, including making the card account easily available to those who need it. And more than 10,000 new Post Office card accounts are opened on average each month.

We have already made changes to the booklet being sent to existing cheque customers so that it explicitly refers to the Post Office card account. We have also updated the messages that staff use when speaking to customers to reflect the fact that the Post Office card account will now continue until at least 2015. Other communications material will be kept under review.