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Local authorities and housing associations have saved thousands of pounds on procurement and payment processing costs, by expanding their payment options with the Procurement for Housing (PfH) Electronic Payment Services Framework. The Framework appointed payment specialists, allpay, as its Multiple Network Managed Service provider in September last year. Since the appointment, 29 local authorities and housing associations have been able to utilise the firm’s extensive range of payment solutions.

allpay – which provides access to the UK’s two biggest payment networks, PayPoint and the Post Office – also offers multiple debit/credit card services across online and mobile and a fully managed direct debit service, proven to reduce arrears and save money. With allpay, which has more than 750 clients and over two decades of experience in on-boarding new organisations, PfH members have received a smooth implementation process– with allpay easily meeting their go-live dates.

Tony Killeen, managing director of allpay, said: “allpay’s ability to serve clients with acceptance channels across cash, debit/credit card and direct debits is a major benefit to members, who now have access to an extended range of payment channels from a market leader with more than 21 years’ experience.

“We are committed to providing a high quality service for members, a seamless transfer from their current provider and an extended range of payment options for them to maximise their collection rates.”

The London Borough of Hackney is saving approximately £20,000 over the course of its PfH contract with allpay. As part of the contract, allpay is providing access to both the PayPoint and Post Office outlets and branches for the payment of council bills.allpay – which already supplies payment solutions to 15 London Boroughs – re-routed both Issuer Identification Numbers (IIN) belonging to the council from its previous supplier, the Co-operative Bank (19-digit and 23-digit payment reference numbers), ensuring citizens could continue to use the existing barcodes and payment cards issued by the council. The council went live with allpay on 1st May 2016 and less than a month later, allpay had processed 21,000 transactions with a value of £1.5million for the council.

Chris Ellmore, Head of Treasury and Banking at London Borough of Hackney, said: “The implementation with allpay went very smoothly. We benefitted from reduced transaction fees and banking fees that we had from our previous supplier. As allpay also transfers cleared funds directly into our bank account, we no longer have to sweep funds from our previous supplier’s account into our main account. By the end of the year, we are also looking at utilising allpay’s stationery services, meaning both services will be under a single contract, whereas they were with two different suppliers before.”

Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA), which manages and maintains around 3,600 homes, went live with allpay’s cloud-based direct debit service in February 2016 via the PfH framework, allowing the organisation to set-up direct debits online with customers and offer them full flexibility on payment collection dates and frequencies. It estimates that as a result of staff and processing savings, it will save more than £30,000 over the term of the contract.

Mark Winstanley, Database Manager at MHA, said: “With allpay, we have eliminated the need to post out mandates to customers and to the bank as the agreement is set up online with the customer. The migration of instructions process was relatively straightforward and it was useful to have a guide for the deadlines for the different elements.

“We have definitely seen a big reduction in staff time dealing with direct debits, both from the start of the year and from an ongoing perspective. It has reduced staff time by 50%, which has freed up time for other initiatives within the team.”

Mark McCue, Category Buyer at PfH, said: “allpay has been able to demonstrate significant savings for PfH members, having already accumulated a wealth of customers through the Framework.”

“With increasing pressure on the Social Housing sector to procure through a compliant route, PfH and allpay are able to offer a complete solution for Electronic Payment Services. allpay are able to fully understand the client requirements and effectively build a unique solution for each PfH member.”