The Post Office has announced its intention to acquire Payzone’s bill payments transaction business.
Bill payments are a core part of the Post Office’s retail offer; they provide a valuable over-the-counter service to customers, generating footfall across its 11,500 branches. The move means Post Office will acquire an additional network of around 13,000 payment outlets, along with their bill payment technology.
With over 500 million bill payment transactions across the UK last year, it is a market which presents a strong growth opportunity for both the Post Office and Payzone networks. This acquisition will allow the Post Office to be a more attractive partner to a wide range of organisations, providing even greater convenience to their customers, who will be able to access a total of nearly 25,000 bill payment points across the UK.
It is great news for customers who rely on over-the-counter-bill payment services, as it will offer them even greater convenience and access; it is good news for Post Office branches and Payzone retailers, as it will help to drive regular, repeat business into their shops; and it is exciting news for the Post Office too, allowing it to generate new income for the business so it can continue to invest and improve its services.
The NFRN welcomes the Post Office’s investment and believes the move will bring some much needed competition in the bill payments sector and some exciting opportunities for members who are sub postmasters.
The acquisition is subject to approval by the Competition and Markets Authority and is expected to be completed during 2018. This represents another milestone in the Post Office’s continued modernisation, ensuring that people across the UK – including the most vulnerable and those without online access – have easy access to vital services.
This deal also builds a stronger, more sustainable Post Office, continuing the broader transformation that the Post Office has been undergoing in recent years. Since 2012, it has invested in, and modernised, over 7,500 branches, and improved services for customers, adding over 200,000 extra opening hours a week across the network.
Debbie Smith, Post Office Retail Chief Executive, commented: “This is an exciting move for the Post Office. Bill payments has always been a core part of our business, allowing customers to pay a wide range of bills, including phone, gas and electricity in their local Post Office. We operate in fast-paced, commercial markets and this acquisition will give us the opportunity and improved ability to compete for more, and bigger, bill payments contracts.
“Over 500 million bill payment transactions are undertaken across the UK each year. We intend to grow our business and drive footfall to both Post Office branches and Payzone outlets by offering current and potential clients a network of nearly 25,000 outlets where customers can pay their bills.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer even greater convenience to people, especially those customers who rely on over-the-counter services to pay for a wide range of essential services.”
Clive Kahn, CEO of Payzone said: “Payzone is delighted that the Post Office will be the new owner of our bill payments business. Our Payzone outlets will complement and strengthen the Post Office’s existing branch network meaning customers will have more access to a wider range of over-the-counter bill payment services.
“For our employees this is also good news, as it places the business at the heart of the Post Office’s strategy for reaching further into local communities. I’m certain that the Payzone bill payments network will develop and flourish in the Post Office’s capable hands.”