5 ways to ask someone to make a payment on your behalf safely

If you are unable to make payments yourself - perhaps due to mobility issues or illness - many people may think it’s easier to hand over their bank card and PIN to someone else. In fact, recent research from the Payments Council shows almost three quarters (74%) of people needing temporary assistance to make a payment have done exactly that. It may seem harmless but it puts you at risk of fraud and you’ll be acting outside of the terms and conditions of your bank account.

The good news is we now have more choice than ever about how we make payments and manage our money including telephone banking and new technologies such as online banking and Paym. Cheques, online/telephone card payments and direct debits, are also helpful as they minimise the need to travel to make a payment.

But there are still may be instances where you need someone to make a payment on your behalf. Below is the Payment’s Council’s advice for different scenarios:

I need…

1.  Someone to get cash for me as a one-off

  • At the bank counter: You can instruct your bank in writing to allow a one-off cash withdrawal over the counter at the bank. The person you ask will need to take official ID and a letter of consent.
  • At a cash machine: Some banks can issue a one-off code that allows a certain amount of cash to be withdrawn at a cash machine without a card. A lot of banks have services such as Talking ATMs and ATMs with Braille, helping people with sight loss to withdraw cash independently.

2. Someone to make payments and get cash for me from my main account for a limited time

  • Third party delegation: You can contact your bank to specify a trusted individual who you want to have access to your main account, pay bills for you and get money out.
  • Post Office Card Account (POCA): POCA holders can get a second card for someone else to collect their money for them. Your local Post Office will be able to tell you what to do to set this up.

3.  Someone to make payments and get cash for me on a regular basis, without access to my account

  • A second account: You can ask your bank to open a second account for you and a person you trust, which only holds the funds that you want them to access. Some banks can link this to your main current account without giving the other account holder main account access.
  • Prepaid card: You can buy a prepaid card (sometimes called “pre-loaded”) and give it to someone else to use to shop and pay bills on your behalf. Some cards can be used wherever debit and credit cards are accepted; others can only be used in specific stores.

4.  Someone to have longer-term access or to manage my accounts 

  • A joint account: You could open a bank account with a family member, or someone you trust, where you both have full access to the account.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney: This is a legal and binding way of handing over management of your finances completely to someone you trust. You can find out more about LPAs from the Court of Protection and Yours Retirement Services, in partnership with Key Retirement, offers a LPA service. Find out more by calling 0808 156 9012 or click here.

5.  And finally...

There are many options when it comes to delegating payments, so it’s best to speak to your bank or building society to see what options they offer and which are suitable for your needs. Alternatively visit PayYourWay, where you can find more information.