Post Office banking collapses in computer fail
Only cardboard cards for now, thanks
Anyone hoping to access their Post Office bank accounts today is out of luck – a computer failure has blocked access at all 11,820 branches.
Pin devices on counters are out of action, along with any other transactions using card accounts.
A spokesman for the Post Office said:
The Post Office today apologised to its customers for a computer problem which affected some transactions in its branches. Martin Moran, Post Office commercial director said: " We are making every effort to restore these services as soon as possible."
The 11,820 branches remain open. However, transactions involving Post Office Card Accounts, and debit and credit cards using the pin pads at branch counters, are affected by the outage.
However, special arrangements were made to ensure that emergency cash payments were made to pensioners and benefit claimants using the Post Office Card Account.
Customers can continue to withdraw cash from any of the Post Office's 2,000 ATMs, which are unaffected by this problem.
The problem is most serious for pensioners and benefit claimants, who get money paid directly into PO accounts. ®
Post office names
Back when my Dad was a Head Postmaster in the 1950s, there was a government organisation called "The General Post Office". It was a blanket organisation for
* Royal Mail (who delivered Letters and Parcels)
* Post Office Telephones (landline phone provider
* The marine radio stations (Portishead, North Foreland etc.)
* Martlesham research station
* The railway telephone branch (not the same as Beritish Railway signalling division)
* Post Office Telegram services
* National Savings
* Post Office savings bank (both deposit schemes, not money transfer systems)
* Post offices were the retail outlet for mail, for the payment of social benefits like child benefit & the old age pension and the handling of driving licences and car taxes. You could pay your income tax there and buy national insurance "stamps".
Later the government invented the Giro bank, a publically owned clearing bank which used post office counters for public access.
Nowadays we have
* Post Office counters Ltd - the retail operation, including foreign currency, the two saving schemes, and a sort of bank. They still do car tax and driving licences, and pay pensions to people with magnetic cards and no bank account.
* Royal Mail, who deliver letters
* Royal Mail parcels, who deliver broken things in crushed boxes
and that's about it. All the other stuff has been sold off, and they want to sell off those 3 too.
I still have my Post Office Savings book from 1960-something. Wonder if it still works? It's got the 1971 entry when we changed to the new money, so should be all set...
"a computer problem which affected some transactions in its branches"
"Some" including, of course, any transaction a customer might want to accomplish.
Don't you just love PR-speech ?