A digital cash service is being used by energy suppliers to help vulnerable customers pay bills - Zunoma

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A digital cash service is being used by energy suppliers to help vulnerable customers pay bills

Posted on 13/05/2022

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In the wake of the announcement in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday that the extension of the price cap will go beyond 2023, an emergency digital cash service is readily available in the short term for those who are struggling to pay energy bills.

Following the recent revelation that over a third of adults in the UK are worried about the rising energy prices[1], Prince Charles unveiled the government’s plans to introduce a new Energy Bill, that aims to boost energy security in the country and to ensure to cheaper and cleaner energy moving forward [2].

Although this is positive news in the long term, many people across the country are struggling to pay bills in the short term. On 1 April 2022, the energy price cap went up 54% and up to 18 million households in the UK could see a price increase of almost £700 a year, with customers on prepayment meters facing an increase even bigger than this[3]. The Payout and Payout NOW! service offers a fast-track way for energy providers to assist vulnerable customers who are struggling from the energy crisis.

The scheme, developed by Zunoma in partnership with the Post Office, will enable hundreds of thousands of energy customers to redeem temporary relief funding or receive an alternative cash grant to help offer support to pay any outstanding bills.

The service helped 215,000 individuals in November and December 2021 alone[4], and the scheme has recently been introduced to help support Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK.

The Energy Bill Discount Scheme was put in place to ensure that domestic electricity customers in Great Britain would receive a £200 discount on their energy bill in autumn.

Funded by the government, the discount is sent directly to energy suppliers to pass on to domestic customers from October 2022. A unique, one time use barcode is generated by Zunoma and will be shared with the customer, through their energy supplier, to be used within a 24 hour to three-month period.  With the aim of mitigating the rising costs, the discount will be paid back in equal ‘standing charge’ instalments by the customer over a period of 5 years, running from 2023-24, when energy prices are expected to reduce.

Customers will need to contact their energy supplier to discuss the discounts available to them. The energy supplier will either deduct a dedicated amount from the monthly bill or provide customers with a unique barcode which they can take into one of the 11,500 Post Offices nationwide and collect either an energy bill discount or give a cash reimbursement on a top-up key.

Andy Locker, Commercial and Product Manager at Post Office, said “We are working closely with multiple energy providers to offer emergency solutions to those who are struggling to pay their bills following the energy price increase.

We encourage individuals who are struggling to make ends meet to contact their energy provider to determine the best scheme to support you in the short term.”

Phil Ouzman, Managing Director at Zunoma, said: “The rise in energy prices is affecting people throughout the country and we are proud to partner with the Post Office, to offer a quick payment solution to those most vulnerable. The Payout and Payout NOW! services are available to those who need it most.”

For more information about the Post Office and Zunoma Payout NOW! service, please visit www.zunoma.com/security-print-software/financial-services/refunds-and-cashback.

For information on how the Payout and Payout NOW! service can be used for other sectors using funding or cash relief support, please contact Zunoma via www.zunoma.com.


[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/uk-voters-high-energy-bills-b1989956.html

[2] https://www.energylivenews.com/2022/05/10/queens-speech-lays-out-energy-bill/

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60943192

[4] https://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/post-office/pressreleases/post-office-payout-voucher-service-provides-vulnerable-customers-with-cash-to-use-to-heat-their-homes-this-winter-3157644


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