A trial scheme giving Worcester residents the option to pay their Council Tax at their local shop has been a big success – and could now get even more useful, with extra payment options added.
Since November last year Worcester City Council has been working with the national payment network PayPoint to give residents the option to pay their Council Tax, Business Rates or Housing Benefit overpayment invoices at Post Offices and at around 100 local shops in the city.
The initiative has proved to be very popular, with more than 3,000 council transactions being made at Paypoint terminals since November, including over 600 per month in June and July.
Now Councillors are considering whether to make the scheme permanent, with the range of payments being extended. Residents and businesses can now also conduct regulatory services transactions – such as licensing costs – through Paypoint and later this year it will be possible to pay temporary accommodation bills and Penalty Charge Notices, including parking fines.
Shane Flynn, City Council Director of Resources and Governance, said: "For many residents the option of paying council bills at their local shop is very convenient and it's also an opportunity for the council to support small businesses by encouraging people to visit those shops."
The success of the Paypoint trial means that the payment kiosks in The Hive can be removed. The kiosk have come to the end of their useful life, are increasingly expensive to run and often require repairing. The Council's Policy and Resources Committee will be asked on September 10 to agree to the removal of the kiosks and, if approved, this will happen in November.