Council contact centres cut out cash payments

Scottish Borders Council’s contact centres will no longer accept bill payments from Tuesday.

The local authority says customers can pay council tax, business rates, housing benefit overpayments and council invoices via the Post Office, PayPoint and Payzone Networks managed by the Co-operative Bank.

SBC customers will need to take their barcoded bill or invoice along to one of the new outlets and advise the cashier of the amount they wish to pay. The barcode is swiped and payment routed to SBC. A receipt will be issued which should be kept as proof of payment.

SBC customer services manager Jenni Craig said: “This new network is far more convenient for our customers who wish to pay by cash.

“There are more local outlets which are open for longer hours, including evenings and weekends.”

For the majority of customers paying by direct debit there is no change and as usual the instalments will be set out on the bill.

Earlier this year SBC increased the number of direct debits available for customers to pay their council tax and business rates. As well as the 1st day of the month, customers can now set up payments for 5th, 15th, 25th.

They also have the option to pay weekly or monthly over 12 months.

Executive member for corporate improvement, councillor Michael Cook, said: “I would encourage as many people as possible to take the opportunity to pay their council tax in this way.

“It can be set up very easily and the money is paid on a date suitable to the customer so they never have to worry about missing a bill.”

Anyone wishing to set up a direct debit can do so by visiting www.scotborders.gov.uk or phone 0300 100 1800.