PayPoint Shops don’t know how to process cash deposits

It’s like trying to pay by contactless in the US, where you have to tell them ‘yes, your machine takes it, you have to let me tap. No, I won’t just hand you my card, I’m using my phone and that’s that, or I’m not buying anything’. Even then, some shops would rather lose a sale than allow someone to pay contactless.

Same type of thing… many shop staff are extremely afraid of change or anything that looks at all unfamiliar to them, including many managers. I know one Subway in the US where the franchise owner hid the PIN pads behind the counter (took them off the mounts) to prevent people paying by contactless. Was outright told by staff the reason was the franchise owner found out about it and wanted to make sure people couldn’t use it.

The moral of the story? Without widespread use, no matter what technologies shops support in theory, actual use can be very, very different due to staff actively preventing you from buying things/services/etc. Do not expect this to ever get better with regards to PayPoint. Cynical? Perhaps. But I just can’t fathom the types of shops that have PayPoint machines ever being totally on board with depositing cash for people.

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I’ve just had the same issue from 3 places that displayed the PayPoint logo. First was in a One Stop where my payment was declined twice, second the cashier just said no straight away, and third was in a garage that has a PayPoint machine and wouldn’t work there either. I’ve paid in a PayPoint by my house buts its a little inconvenient, especially when you have bills due to come out.

I agree with you here.

I wrote a brief piece on my experience using my Starling card at a Post Office this week.

Tl:dr…

I initially called up - They had zero idea what “a Starling” is… But I was welcome to come in and try.

Despite the PO staff (which is in a village pharmacy I may add), having zero idea what was going on, the process was so simple, and it worked without any fuss what so ever.

People’s experience will undoubtedly vary depending on their PO or PayPoint location, but my gut feeling is that the Post Office will be a little more helpful - Even if they have no idea what Monzo (or Starling) is.

No need to swipe the card either (which still seems very old fashioned) - It was a simple “insert card into machine and hit enter” job…

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Swiping is fine for this. No one is going to clone a card to put money ON it. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the post office isn’t running an EMV transaction either. I don’t know. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were just reading the account number from the chip with no authentication of the data.

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I know it’s fine from a security aspect, but I’d hazard a guess there are many Monzo customers who have probably never had a debit card “swiped” before.

It just adds to the peculiarity of it, especially if the cashier isn’t familiar with the process.

Hopefully it all works itself out over the next few years, as the PP of PO solutions are great.

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I’m a fairly cynical person in general but thought i’d give my opinion here.

I know this process is done via PayPoint and so has relatively little to do with Monzo but when issues arise as people have mentioned, it makes me think badly of PayPoint and also Monzo because they’re endorsing the system and process PayPoint are using to deposit cash into our Monzo accounts.

I’m sure this is mostly all teething problems and Monzo will report issues to PayPoint and eventually these issues will stop but really when this goes wrong, in my opinion it reflects badly on PayPoint and Monzo.

I don’t personally like the idea of using PayPoint anyway and so am unlikely to ever deposit cash into my account (probably what Monzo prefers) but can see how this process needs to be smoother for those who do still rely on cash.

Would this process be easier if Monzo had used the post office? It might be, we don’t really know (I would assume it would be based on the assumption the post office training is better than paypoints). Hopefully PayPoint can iron out these small issues with Monzo’s help

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I just did this literally 5 mins ago at a Co-op. The lady said no, I asked her to try, she put it into the paypoint machine and said it doesn’t work, I then asked her to swipe it on the till and hey ho, it works. Got a notification to say cash will be there in 10 mins :slight_smile:

Seems like a staff training issue rather than a monzo issue!

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I tried this yesterday for the first time - the most difficult bit was counting all the cash :slight_smile:

We are working with PayPoint to improve retailer knowledge but it will be a matter of time. For a while we had real sort code acceptance issues but as we’ve grown and people have become more aware of Monzo, they’ve gradually disappeared.

I’m not entirely sure the Post Office vs PayPoint comparison is particularly useful - they are quite different products! PayPoint also have 28,000 stores (to the Post Office’s 11,500) so I would say that is a distinct advantage :raised_hands:

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I dunno. I think I’d rather the choice of 11,000 sites with staff fully trained in cash handling and banking, rather than a million sites with staff who don’t have a clue how the processes work, what they’re meant to be doing or why you’re wasting their time and holding up their queue of people trying to buy groceries and lottery tickets.

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The are very similar products to be fair. The Post Office is not Royal Mail.

  • You can post and receive items through Collect+ at many PayPoints as well as at a Post Office - just easier to buy it at the Post Office face to face.
  • You can pay a variety of bills through the Post Office like you can at a PayPoint. Depends on the company.
  • You can deposit money at a PayPoint and a Post Office.
  • Many Post Offices have become franchises within shops, like PayPoint, instead of stand alone Post Offices.

Some of the differences are more negative to Monzo except maybe the locations one.

  • PayPoint have 28,000 locations and there are only 11,500 Post Offices. 99% of the UK population is generally within three miles of their nearest Post Office but PayPoints are everywhere.
  • The Post Office deals with banking enquires, deposits and withdrawals, everyday and know what they are doing while many PayPoint locations are struggling to have a clue.
  • Most banks offer their services through the Post Office for free so it is a seamless transaction and the PayPoint route with Monzo costs the customer money.
  • Edit: The Post Office do try to sell extra services such as broadband or financial products, as pointed out by @HughWells below, whilst PayPoint don’t.

I’m sure there are many other similarities and differences, but I’m tired.

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I’d disagree just as PayPoint is more of an agent through which transactions are processed - the Post Office can sell you their own broadband, insurance etc. :slight_smile:

I accept that difference and have added it to my list above :grin:

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I wouldn’t say “goal” - it’s something on our radar but not actively being planned or worked towards. We looked at it as part of the general aim to have cash deposits but PayPoint worked out better (not having to replace all the cards for example :sweat:).

We’ll continue to evaluate how it’s going so if adding Post Office deposits would bring a significant benefit to a good amount of customers we might look at doing it :slight_smile:

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I think the plan is to send each PayPoint retailer a postcard with instructions :slight_smile:

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True, but do PayPoint machines even have chip readers? I thought they were purely magstripe affairs (remember the old top-up cards for mobiles? Things like that).

Also, I realised, the Post Office must be doing something other than just reading the PAN off the chip - because new cards are required. Makes me want to compare old and new Starling cards and see the change…

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Yeah they do have chip readers, quite a few pre payment energy meters use chips for topups

Ooh, I didn’t know that. One of the flats in my building has a prepaid meter (there’s a shared meter cupboard) and it has some kind of key thing, not a card.

With the amount of competition in the energy market, I’m amazed any of these things are still around to be honest. Even for people who prefer prepaid or have no credit history, smart meter prepaid tariffs that are cheaper and easier to top up are available.

Which brings us back to PayPoint. Who does it really exist for and how long can it continue? While I give them credit for constantly trying to add things… SuperDry uses them for returns (it wasn’t a bad experience, the guy knew how, the return worked… But dropping my return off at a small little shop felt so sketchy), for example, the reality is that in 2019 there are just easier, better and more accessible ways to do everything they do.

While they largely aim at the unbanked, banks like Monzo improve the accessibility of financial services so much (don’t trust me, the Queen agrees!) that the world of shadow banking (including PayPoint) just can’t survive much longer. It’ll be like cash, a slow death, but it can’t last.

And maybe that’s actually the brilliance… Use a service on the same downward trajectory as cash itself for cash handling. And let them both fade away, replaced with better, cheaper, safer alternatives.

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I added cash to my Amazon account at a PayPoint and it was a very quick and easy affair.

Isn’t that basically just buying yourself a gift card?

I swear I’m not trying to be cynical. It’s just hard for me to see this business as having a future.

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In effect yes, but any amount between £1 and £250.