New payment service for the elderly and persons with functional impairments in sparsely populated areas in connection with closure of the Swedish Counter Service

19/11/2008

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has concluded an agreement with Kuponginlösen and ICA Banken concerning a new payment service for the elderly and persons with functional impairments in sparsely populated areas. This service will replace the counter service previously used by these households through the rural carriers of Posten AB, as commissioned by the Swedish Counter Service.

“The new payment service makes it possible for the elderly and persons with functional impairments in rural areas to continue to pay bills from their homes using cash. They can also cash giro cheques from PlusGirot, for example their pensions,” says Sten Selander, Head of the Postal Affairs Department at PTS, which has procured this service as assigned by the Government.

This service is subject to the same terms as for the previous payment service intended for the elderly and persons with functional impairments. Only households served by rural carriers are eligible for this payment service. All persons in the household must be at least 80 years of age and/or have a functional impairment. The functional impairment must affect one’s capacity to use ordinary service points, for example banks or shops offering banking services.

Information being sent out this week

Information to the some 1 700 households which currently use counter services through the rural carriers of Posten AB, as commissioned by the Swedish Counter Service, will be distributed this week. The new service may be used as of 15 December.

The around 1 700 households which currently use counter services through rural carriers are eligible to use the new service. Before this service may be used, Kuponginlösen and ICA Banken will verify the user’s identity. Even if a person is entitled to use the new service, registration must be made two weeks before one may start using it since the household needs materials, including payment orders.

“If you register immediately once information has been mailed home to you it will be no problem to, for example, receive your pension if you get it by giro cheque and pay bills in December. Of course, we wish that this information could have been sent out earlier, but the negotiations were delayed,” says Sten Selander.

Kuponginlösen and ICA Banken are in charge of the new payment service. It will be provided by the rural carriers of Posten AB at the home of the elderly or persons with functional impairments, since Kuponginlösen and ICA Banken engage Posten AB as a subcontractor.

For more information, please contact Sten Selander, head of Postal Affairs Department, tel. 0708-151000 or Monica Ohlsson, tel. 0706-509950.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) monitors the electronic communications and postal sectors in Sweden. The term ‘electronic communications’ includes telephony, the Internet and radio. The Agency works with consumer and competition issues, efficient utilisation of resources and secure communications. Read more at www.pts.se.