by Ed Chadwick

Payment services provider PayPoint says it will bid to win the contract for the Post Office card account which would bring millions of new transactions each week.

In an interview with RN, chief executive Dominic Taylor said that he believed PayPoint was best placed to offer the cash banking service to almost 3 million account holders.

The current contract held by the Post Office is due to expire next April and the Department for Work and Pensions has yet to exercise a two-year extension option.

Retailers with PayPoint terminals have been paying benefits to people without bank accounts since summer 2012 under the Simple Payment initiative.

Asked whether PayPoint would go head to head with the Post Office’s network of 11,500 branches, Mr Taylor told RN: “Certainly. We have bid before and we will bid again.

“The simple payment system provides a backbone capability and we continue to market that to the government.

“We are not the only company capable of offering the services but we have much better opening hours and we believe the government is beginning to become convinced of that.”

The simple payment system provides a backbone capability and we continue to market that to the government

The comments came as PayPoint revealed a 7.7% increase in net revenues to £113.7m and transactions hit a record 768 million, up 3.9%.

Profits were up by 10.6% to £45.4m and total sites were up 8.7% to 27,242.

Sub-postmasters have said that card account transactions make up as much as 40% of business over their counters.

But some have poured scorn on the idea that PayPoint retailers could manage the card account.

“We have been bailing them out on simple payment for a long time because they don’t have the cash in their tills,” said one.

“That’s with a £350 maximum withdrawal and this would be much more. I don’t think they could cope.”

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