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Security when receiving payments from Post Office?

(6 Posts)
TinfoilHattie Wed 19-Apr-17 11:31:46

I'm rarely in the Post Office these days but this morning stood in a VERY long queue to post a few parcels.

Just in front of me were a very elderly couple, at least in their 80s, one with a hearing aid, one using sticks to walk. They were at the Post Office to receive pensions I assume. The lady stuck her card in the machine, entered her PIN and the lady behind the counter started to count the money in a loud enough voice that everyone could hear: 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 20, 40.... on she went. The couple picked up around £500 in cash and off they toddled.

AIBU to think that it's crazy to go off around town with £500 in your handbag? I wouldn't carry that much in cash and I'm a fairly young and fit person with my full faculties. It would have been SO easy for someone in the queue to grab the bag on the way out, or text their pal waiting outside to tip them off. Surely there must be a safer, better way of doing this?

(Disclaimer: This isn't a "oh isn't it dreadful that old people get so many Benefits" thread. I am assuming it was pension etc they were collecting. It maybe wasn't. It's about old people, well, any people really, carrying large sums of cash).

FanaticalFox Wed 19-Apr-17 12:12:13

Yep I work in retail banking and we HAVE to count the money to them, we try and disuade them from large amounts of cash but these people are old skool, the fact she is in the post office suggests she doesn't have a current account so withdraws the cash to go and pay her bills with cash elsewhere. This is now rare to be honest and its partly coz they're stuck in their ways and won't hear of changing to another option.

MsJamieFraser Wed 19-Apr-17 12:14:45

They have to count the money in front of them, people do this all the time, they maybe where withdrawing it for a holiday payment, I recently had to do this and it could only be a cash transaction.

TinfoilHattie Wed 19-Apr-17 12:19:42

I have no idea what they were withdrawing it for, and if it's a regular thing or not.

To me though it's just such a risky thing to do with large sums of cash. Practically next door to the post office there are two banks! I know older people can be set in their ways, but there must be other ways round this which don't involve smartphones and internet banking.

unfortunateevents Wed 19-Apr-17 12:33:28

But it doesn't matter how many payment options you set up, if people want cash then you can't prevent them having access to their money! if the old couple had a debit card with them, they could presumably have used that in the supermarket, opticians, coffee shop etc to pay with instead of cash, if they were going to pay a large bill they could have written a cheque but they chose not to! Obviously it doesn't seem particularly safe but providing more payment methods isn't going to change their belief in the power of cash.

HighwayDragon1 Wed 19-Apr-17 13:35:51

I had to withdraw over 2k in cash to hand to our letting agent as they didn't have a card reader! I've literally never held my bag so tightly in my life.

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