PayPoint suspends bill payments through McColl’s

Struggling UK convenience store chain McColl’s Retail Group insists its full service with PayPoint will be available soon, after PayPoint had suspended bill payment services in a majority of its stores.

The news comes as McColl’s seeks further investment to avoid going into administration. The convenience chain has said that it is in talks with banks to maintain its £170 million debt facility, adding that it had “received the necessary agreement to roll forward its financial covenant test periodically, and continues to receive credit support from its key commercial partner, Morrisons, to enable these discussions”. It also “continues to believe that a financing solution will be found that involves its existing partners and stakeholders”, it said.

PayPoint has said to other independent retailers that they should expect increased trading due to the suspension of its services at McColl’s stores. This says, “As of this morning, the majority of PayPoint’s services are now unavailable in McColl’s stores in your area. We wanted to make you aware of this as you may experience an increase in customers visiting your store.”

A PayPoint spokesman said: “Further to McColl’s Retail Group’s statement on 28 February, PayPoint has implemented measures to ensure the continuity of its services for its clients and customers. After discussions with the McColl’s leadership team, PayPoint can confirm it has suspended bill payment services in the majority of McColl’s sites until further notice.

“All other essential cash out and parcel services remain unaffected. PayPoint is focused on providing vital services at the heart of communities across the UK and customers will still be able to access its full range of services, including bill payments, pre-payment transactions and parcel delivery, at over 27,000 locations, a network larger than all banks, supermarkets and Post Offices put together. Customers can visit to find their nearest store.”

He added: “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide an update in due course, where appropriate.”

However, McColl’s appeared to play down the situation. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of all of our suppliers,” said a spokesman. “Specific PayPoint services were temporarily suspended in a number of our stores, but full service is expected to resume shortly across our entire estate.”

More:   The APC sees 53% growth in profits