PayPoint to accept Net payments from unbanked

PayPoint, the network of bill payment terminals based in shops, is launching a system which will enable the 4 million UK adults without bank accounts to buy products online for the first time.

The payment method also allays fears over security of online transactions as bank account or credit card details will not have to be supplied over the Net.

The PayPoint terminals are based in 7,400 shops nationwide, and can process bill payments made to the retailer in cash or by cheque.

PayPoint is negotiating with “major e-tailers” to develop the terminals so that they can be used for e-commerce payments. It expects this to happen later this year.

PayPoint sales and marketing director Tim Watkin-Rees says: “Customers will go to a retail Website, select the product they want and state that they want to pay for it through PayPoint. They will then print off a document detailing the purchase, take it to a PayPoint terminal, pay the retailer in cash and the transaction is complete.”

Watkin-Rees says many of PayPoint’s 2 million customers do not have a bank account or credit card.

Neil Jameson, director of the Citizens Organisations Foundation, a UK-wide body campaigning about exclusion in financial services, says: “E-commerce currently excludes people without a bank account or credit card. Although many of these wouldn’t be able to afford Internet access anyway, some may have access but no bank account. For example, Muslims do not have bank accounts for religious reasons.”

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