Free banking services you can access at any Post Office counter including cash withdrawals and deposits

By Linda Howard

A record £801 million in cash withdrawals took place at Post Office branches across the UK in December 2021 indicating that more people are now aware of the free day-to-day banking services available over the counter at branches and in-store kiosks.

The total amount withdrawn from the 11,500 branches across the nation was up by 7.8 per cent compared with November, when the figure stood at £743 million.

The Post Office said the record total coincided with the start of a partnership with food bank charity the Trussell Trust, whereby 1p from every cash withdrawal is donated to the good cause - the initiative hopes to raise £250,000 by the end of February.

In total, Post Offices handled a record £3.1 billion in cash deposits and withdrawals in December, marking an increase on the previous record of £3 billion in November.

The Post Office has an agreement with many banks which allows banks' customers to do their everyday banking over the Post Office's counters.

Martin Kearsley, banking director at Post Office, said: "Despite Covid-19 restrictions being introduced and some people's natural desire to avoid going out to see friends and family before Christmas, it's testament to the hard work of postmasters that a record £3.1 billion was processed at branches."

What can people do at any UK Post Office?

You can use any of these services at a Post Office counter:

  • Withdraw cash from your usual bank account using your card
  • Pay cash into your usual bank account using a card or paying-in slip
  • Check your bank balance using your card
  • Deposit a cheque

These banking services are available for free to customers of more than 30 banks and building societies, including all the high street big names such as Clydesdale/Virgin Money, RBS, Natwest, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, TSB, HSBC and Barclays.

The Post Office says it is able to serve 99 per cent of UK banking customers - you can check the full list of participating banks and services available here.

Where and when can you use banking services at the Post Office?

You can use these services:

  • At any Post Office branch, including inside retail outlets
  • Whenever it’s open - this includes evenings and Sundays (where available)

Other ways to get access to cash

A scheme enabling people to get cash from retailers' tills without needing to make a purchase has been rolled out to more than 2,000 shops.

Under the scheme, people can withdraw up to £50 in notes and coins in smaller shops or check their balance free of charge.

Link said that following a successful 12-month pilot, the scheme is already live in around 1,000 locations and has seen more than 24,800 transactions being made with an average withdrawal amount of £27.81.

Withdrawals of any amount between 1p and £50 can be made, rather than being restricted to the notes dispensed by ATMs.

Payment services provider PayPoint is the first of Link's members to provide the facility.

The ability to offer the service is open to all Link members, and Link said it hopes that others will also take up the opportunity as the market develops.

Tracey Graham, chair, Link Consumer Council, said: "Protecting access to cash is absolutely vital for millions of people who depend on it."

Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: "It is great to see Link and PayPoint taking advantage of the legislative changes we made last year to facilitate cashback without a purchase across the UK.

"The 'cashback at the till' service stands to make a real difference to local communities by providing access to cash for people that need it, and supporting cash acceptance by local businesses."

You can find their nearest cashback without purchase location using Link's cash locator here and cash locator app.

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