Q&A: What Post Office's Payzone takeover means for retailers

Post Office Retail Payzone payments bill merger takeover
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Retailers with Post Offices are set to benefit from Payzone technology following the sale of the bill payment network to the Post Office.

The deal, ratified by the competitions and markets authority (CMA) this week, will boost the Post Office's network of payment locations by more than 13,000 to 25,000.

The Post Office confirmed to RN it wants to “leverage” elements of the Payzone offer across the whole network.

This will include 'Smart Transport Ticketing' – the ability for consumers to top up travel cards and collect tickets in store, alongside an EPoS tablet device across 10,000 Payzone outlets and a handheld Bluetooth wireless device.

A Post Office spokesperson said: retailers would "benefit from more customers coming to them for a wider range of bill payments.”

Payzone and Post Office retailers will also be able to process payments from a wider range of utility companies. Commission fees and usage charges will be reviewed, the spokesperson added.

See below for RN's exclusive Post Office Q&A 

RN: What is the benefit to independent retailers following the sale of Payzone to the Post Office?

PO: This is good news for independent retailers. Together, it means we will look to win bigger bill payment contracts and increase footfall for retailers, enabling retailers to also offers these customers an attractive retail proposition. We believe this represents an exciting move for retailers to benefit from more customers coming to them for a wider range of bill payment services - it will help drive regular, repeat business into their shops.

RN: Will the Post Office be adopting Payzone bill payment technology following the sale? 

PO: Payzone’s bill payment network uses different technology to the Post Office’s own systems. Our aim is to share payment devices across both networks, enabling existing and new bill payment services currently only available in Payzone locations to be available at Post Offices, and vice-versa. This will provide clients with a larger network of retailer locations where their customers can pay their bills. This will mean together we are better placed to win new business for postmasters and Payzone agents, in turn enhancing their offering to consumers and thereby increase consumer footfall.

The core Payzone bill payment processing technology operates in the same way as Post Office because the transactions are designed generically by clients for pre and post pay transactions. There are two elements that are different and that we aim to leverage; i) Smart Transport Ticketing – the capability to offer consumers the ability to top up travel cards and collect tickets in store, and ii) branch devices – an epos tablet device across 10k Payzone outlets and a hand-held next generation bluetooth wireless device.

Payzone has deployed new tablet devices in over 9k locations across its network to date and that roll-out will continue across the whole network. In addition, Payzone has developed a handheld device that we will be looking to deploy across the Post Office network.

RN: Will this approved acquisition mean that Payzone retailers will be able to access more utility providers? 

PO: It will – and likewise, for Post Office agents, too. It is our intention that all available bill payments services will be offered through Post Office and Payzone outlets.

RN: Will PO be looking at increased commission and a reduction of usage charges as part of the deal? 

PO: There may be some differences between Post Office and Payzone, including in terms of things like existing charges to agents. We will be reviewing these, as part of an ongoing exercise, to ensure they are appropriate and fair.

Read more: Post Office's Payzone takeover is a 'win-win' for retailers 

By Jack Courtez Avatar
By Jack Courtez 24 Oct, 2018

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