Many volunteers are dealing with transactions – doing shopping etc – for vulnerable residents. Unless the residents have cash then some sort of arrangement has to be made. The next best option after cash is the cheque. If neither cash or cheque are an option then there are a wide range of alternatives, though many of these require online access.
There seems to be no perfect solution to this issue but we offer a range of options as well as some briefings put together by other organisations as a starting point.
A number of banks have tried to make it easier for the over 70s by launching helplines. In some circumstances they can help people get started with telephone or online banking.
If they are online and have a printer they can use a service called ‘Paymout Now’ which allows them to set up a cash collection from a post office or bank for a set amount money which they can then use to do some shopping and handover any change.
NatWest have a similar scheme where you can set up a one-off cash withdrawal with a one-time pin code. Just hand over the code and the volunteer goes to a Natwest or Tesco cash machine, puts in the pin and takes the cash.
Some larger organisations with capacity have set up tenant accounts where the volunteer pays for the shopping, then claims from the organisation that set up the scheme who then get it back off the resident.
There are some other schemes but it’s difficult if the person isn’t on line to begin with.
Ideally the vulnerable person should not hand over their card and pin.