A new report by PayPoint has revealed the major role played by convenience stores in Scotland in enabling customers and communities to access key government benefits and payments.
Housing and local authority payments figures collected by the payment service provider found that over £431 million has been processed over the past three years, across more than 3,000 stores in Scotland, through real-time payment solutions offered by PayPoint.
Trends also indicate that 26.2 per cent of those transactions happen before 9am and after 5pm, while 19.33 per cent of total transactions happen on a Saturday or Sunday, suggesting that convenience retailing is a true 24 hour business. The data from PayPoint shows that that earliest transaction is between midnight and 1am, latest transaction is between 11pm and midnight.
Likewise for the DWP Payment Exception Service, the figures provided by PayPoint show that over £23 million has been distributed since launch last August across over 2,200 stores in Scotland thereby bring into focus the crucial role convenience stores are playing in helping families gain access to the financial support they need.
Trends show that 10.2 per cent of those transactions happen before 9am and after 5pm and 5 per cent of total transactions happen on a Saturday or Sunday. The earliest transaction happened between 6am and 7am, latest transaction between 9pm and 10pm.
In terms of geographical spread, the top two areas are Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the former representing over a third of transactions. However, this service does stretch to the islands, with customers in the Hebrides and Shetland using the service actively.
“Scottish convenience stores are at the heart of their communities providing key services to their customers, seven days a week and this is clearly borne out by the latest data collected by PayPoint. Local shops, as the data shows, are able to help facilitate the mass distribution of government benefits in a quick and easily accessible way to those who need it most,” Pete Cheema, SGF Chief Executive, commented.
“Independent Convenience stores are core community assets and are the ‘glue’ in social and economic community building. They are owned and run by local people who care about the positive impact they can make to their local area.”
Steve O’Neill, PayPoint corporate affairs and marketing director, said: “Our retailer partners have always done a fantastic job delivering vital community services for people across Scotland. This is even more important now as they help deliver important Cost of Living support services, including the Energy Bills Support Scheme launching this week. We’re proud to work in partnership with the Scottish Grocer’s Federation to continue to highlight the critical work the convenience sector does in Scotland.”