Companies who charge an administration fee for processing cash and cheque bill payments are affecting “vulnerable” groups the most, it has been claimed.
According to debt group Credit Action, the poorest sections of the demographic are the ones most affected by these fees.
Especially hard hit will be those who do not have a bank account, as they may be affected both by a processing fee and an inability to take advantage of the discount that is often offered for paying by direct debit.
“The very people who will be hit hardest by this will firstly be the people who are financially excluded as they don’t have a bank account because they’re not [on a] very high income,” said Chris Tapp, associate director of Credit Action.
He said also that the position of elderly people needs to be considered, as setting up direct debits “is firstly complicated and secondly, makes them slightly nervous as it feels like theyíve lost control of it a little bit”.
Companies that impose charges for paying by cheque include media conglomerate Virgin and BT, who have said they will be introducing the charge in May this year.
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