We recently spoke to Northern Ireland Postmaster, Dermot Lynch, about how he moved all of his POca customers to bank accounts under the Banking Framework and why it was important to do it early.
What have you been doing to help POca customers in your branch?
We have been engaging our customer base from when we received the news that the POca cards were ending; spreading awareness by talking to customers, explaining why this is happening, attending meetings with the community e.g. community halls and Age UK (pre-Covid), and the process to ensure a smooth transition.
What encouraged you to engage early with your POca customers? Why not wait right until the end to encourage customers to move over?
We realised early that banking was the way forward in terms of Post Office revenue and success. We also knew that the customer base for POca cards were the older generation and wanted to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings, and enable customers to access all the banking options e.g. cheque deposits, balance checks etc.
How did you start conversations with POca customers about converting to a bank account?
We are very aware that the older generation can be concerned with change, so we engaged with them very early and explained why this was happening to help them understand. It was done gradually over a period of time and usually during regular Post Office transactions.
How many of your POca customers continue to use your branch thanks to the Banking Framework?
In recent times we have lost the custom of some due to the age profiles. However, many of our customers continue to use our branch thanks to the Banking Framework, as it offers a more personal touch and gives them the options they require e.g. cheque deposits, balance checks etc.
Is there anything further Post Office could be doing to support your branch with POca engagement?
- If they could introduce a leaflet that would explain in more detail to customers, as in Covid times masks and screens make this very difficult.
- I believe contactless withdrawals are the way forward and would help promote business.
- Credit cards do not work which sometimes make transactions awkward to complete, so the ability to use all varieties and types of cards would help avoid this.
- More awareness from the customer as to the different types of cards e.g. credit or debit.