The Post Office is launching a barcode payment system that it says could save businesses millions of pounds a year. Unilever and British Gas are among the companies to have trialled the Payout service, which is now being fully rolled out by The Post Office.
Payout allows companies to distribute promotional incentives, cash payments and refunds at a fraction of the cost of issuing cheques. Unilever says sending a cheque is 600% more expensive than using the Payout system.
Using barcode technology, companies send a reference code by text, e-mail or post which customers take to one of the Post Office’s 14,000 branches around the country. Payout can be tailored to individual businesses, with identity verification available to provide increased security for higher value transactions.
The Post Office says Payout also removes the barriers for businesses making payments to people who do not have a bank account.
Marketing director Gary Hockey-Morley adds: “The wide range of payments channels ensures that businesses can expect improved response rates at the same time as making significant cost savings on campaigns which have previously paid out using cheques.”
Unilever used Payout for fulfilment of an on-pack promotion for its Comfort Pearls product and direct communication executive Joanna Weston says the company would consider using the service again.
The Post Office also used Payout to issue its new car insurance customers with £50 cash back.