Cllr. Robert Barnard


Barnsley MBC
Town Hall
Church Street
Barnsley S70 2TA

01226 770770 (Office)

07811 430948 (Mobile)

cllrrobertbarnard@barnsley.gov.uk

Twitter: @Cllr_Barnard

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Cash & Cheque Payments to BMBC

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Some residents have been having difficulty paying Barnsley MBC following closure the the Council’s remaining cash office. Below is an explanatory note which covers all the options now available.

Payment by Cash and Cheque  Revised Council Procedures

The recently approved payment and debt strategy included removal of payment by cheque for accounts based debt, ie SAP debtor, Council Tax and Housing rent bills.  In addition, the Council’s remaining cash office has been closed meaning payment by cash at Council offices is no longer supported.

This note is designed to provide guidance to assist organisations finding payment by other means difficult.

Bank Giro Credits

The mechanism being introduced to deal with all cash and cheque payments is the addition of bank giro credits to the bottom of bills, initially for SAP debtor bills but eventually across all bills.  As the implementation of bank giro credits has been delayed, the period during which cheques will be accepted for bill payments has been extended to September 2013.

Bank giro credits will allow payment free of charge to the customer at:

  • Branches of Barclays
  • The customers own bankers

Paying by giro will also allow payment by cheque and cash at the appropriate bank.

Direct Debits

For customers with a bank account making regular payments the default payment method should be direct debit.  This is by far the most cost effective method for the Council and from a customer point of view needs no action once the initial mandate has been established.  Details of how to set up a direct debt are included on the bills that are issued.

Many customers have in the past been turned down for bank accounts due to lack of, or poor, credit rating or identification.  The Council;s banking partners Barclays have established a universal bank account which is available to all regardless of credit rating and for which Council documents are often acceptable as proof if ID.  Details are available via the branch or by contacting Barclays representative Alison Simpson tel 07757204956 email Alison.simpson@barclays.com.

ATP / On Line Payment Facilities

For customers with a bank card (debit or credit) payments can be made via telephone (ATP) by calling 01226 779397 or on line by visiting https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/pay.  Credit cards attract a 2.2% fee.

Debit cards are available from many banks to customers using a business type bank account they are not restricted to personal accounts.   Although debit cards do not allow multiple signatures per card the signatures will be required to order the card and an audit trail is implicit as all transactions will appear on bank statements.

Standing Order

Standing orders are occasionally preferred by customers as money is sent from their bank account rather being claimed by the Council.  A standing order can be established by using the Council’s Income Account details:

 

Bank sort code 20 04 50
Income Bank account 83651142
Barclays Bank 27 Church St Barnsley S70 2AJ

 

The customer must also include the appropriate reference number, being the account number of the bill they are paying.  This will allow reconciliation in SAP and ensure accounts are credited in a timely fashion.

Direct Payment via On Line Banking

Bank account holders can pay the Council direct from their bank accounts using on line banking facilities to transfer funds.  A guidance note is attached at Appendix 1 which has been issued to Council services.  Complying with this will allow bank reconciliation procedures to be carried out properly.

Allpay

Customers with Council Tax / Housing Rent accounts that do not have a bank account can apply for an Allpay card which will enable payment at any Paypoint outlet.  Customers should contact the service directly in these instances contact details are included on bills.

Allpay can be considered for customers in receipt of SAP debtor bills but this should be by exception having exhausted all other payment methods due to the costs of this payment method versus all others.

Summary

The above note sets out payment methods available to customers, in descending order of cost effectiveness to the Council.  In all scenarios when bank giro credits are implemented to the bottom of Council bills there is a fall back position of paying by cash at Barclays, even if the customer does not have a bank account.

The Payment and Debt Strategy includes at its core the desire to help our customers modernise the way they transact with the Council which will in turn assist in other areas of their finances.  Customers should therefore be directed where possible to opening a bank account and using this to pay the council

Payment by BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing Services) and Faster Payments.

Electronic processing of financial transactions.

BACS payments take 3 working days to be processed through the banking system

Faster Payments are processed the same day.

If you wish your customer to be able to pay by this method, please supply them with the following information:

 

Bank sort code 20 04 50
Income Bank account 83651142
Barclays Bank 27 Church St Barnsley S70 2AJ

 

In the reference field you should advise your customer to quote their name and what the payment is for. For example:

Smith – Grazing Licence

Brown – Legal Fees

Note: the space for reference details will be limited and needs to be accurately worded for the payment to be easily reconciled to your services income codes by the authority’s Business Support Service (BSS).

Please note, the customer quoting the GL and Cost Centre code would be of no assistance to BSS when reconciling the monies paid into the bank and should not be quoted.

In addition, if you have asked a customer to pay by BACS transfer you must email BSS Banking Details mailbox on what payment to expect, detailing the following:

  • Amount
  • GL/cost centre code
  • VAT code
  • The name of the customer
  • The date that the payment is expected
  • The description of what the payment is for

Payments can then be processed to your services income accounts when the payment has been received into the bank account.

Please note, payments made via BACS which do not include sufficient relevant information and/or an email is not sent to BSS advising them of the expected payment will not be processed and will remain in a suspense/unidentified account until claimed by your service.

 

16/V/13

 

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