Oxford

Oxford City Council payments to go cashless

Oxford City Council is to go cashless across various services in a bid to reduce costs, enhance security and offer a more convenient, 24-hour method of payment for customers.

The council will put in place enhanced systems to accept payment using Direct Debit, BACS and credit and debit cards, though customers will still be able to continue to use cash at PayPoint outlets and Post Office branches across the city.

The cashless and cheque-less scheme is set to save the council in the region of £45,000 a year in handling charges, as well as other efficiency savings arising from streamlining processes.

Oxford City Council has long offered and encouraged cashless payments for many of its services and has consequently seen the number of cash and cheque payments steadily decline.

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the use of cash and cheque payments has reduced even more rapidly and with the council no longer seeing customers face-to-face, a temporary system of reduced cash and cheque handling was implemented.

It has shown that cash and cheque payments amount to a very small percentage of transactions, totalling 0.52 per cent, but they remain expensive to administer.

The council is also exploring other payment methods, such as using apps and pre-paid cards.

Services that will now become cashless and cheque-less include garden waste, parks and cemeteries fees, legal services, council tax, rents and planning fees respectively.

Once the transfer to cashless payments in these services has been introduced, the council will look at expanding the scheme to cover further services.

An Oxford City Council spokesperson told PSE that the council is “implementing changes in a staged approach so that we can ensure we are not excluding any customers from making a payment to us”.

Commenting, Oxford City Council’s Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services, Councillor Nigel Chapman said: “The council has long advocated using non-cash or cheque payment as the most cost effective and most secure method.

“There is now an increasing trend for digital payment in most aspects of life. With so little cash and so few cheques being used now, and with the council looking to save money in the wake of the pandemic, we feel the time is right to move entirely to this method when in direct contact with the council.

“Because of the minimal amount of cash and cheque transactions, the impact on customers will be small, but there are those who may still need to pay in cash or cheque and it is important that they still can.

“So the city council will ensure that they will still be able to pay council bills, including rent payments, by using any of the well-established 42 PayPoint facilities spread across Oxford, and at Post Offices.”

The Theory of Devolution

PSE Aug/Sept 22

The Theory of Devolution

Our August/September edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of public sector topics, from decarbonisation and the environment to leadership. Learn about devolution, or the United Kingdom’s first net zero bus station as the public sector plays a key role in the development of the world that we live in.

Videos...

View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Digital Transformation

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Digital Transformation Virtual Event | 15 Sept 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: Driving sustainability & value through technology end-of-life

End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?
 

Join us on 13 September between 2:00pm-2:45pm where we look to address the lifecycle of a digital strategy with a focus on end-of-life using examples, achieving efficiency, increased sustainability and delivering cost savings.


Guest Panellists:

Adam Turner, Head of Government and Public Sector Sustainable ICT and Digital, DEFRA
Ben Levin, Senior Manager, Technology Assesment and Criteria Development, Global Electronics Council
Fredrik Forslund, Vice President, Enterprise & Cloud Erasure Solutions, Blancco
Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

More articles...

View all