The Post Office has been hit by a computer problem that has blocked access to its 3.3 million customers who have Post Office card accounts.
The Post Office confirmed that all branches remained open and special arrangements were in place for emergencies Transactions that involve using the pin pads in branches through card accounts or debit or credit cards are affected.
Most claimants have their pensions or benefits paid directly into their card accounts and many, particularly pensioners, access them via the Post Office. The 2,000 cash machines that the Post Office has at its branches are unaffected by the problem that began on Wednesday morning.
Most of the 3.3 million people with Post Office card accounts use them weekly or monthly to withdraw funds. Customers who have been unable to access their money have been able to receive a £20 emergency payment. If affected customers can access a £20 payment once every day until the computer problems are resolved as long as there are funds available in their account.
Post Office commercial director Martin Moran said: "We apologise to customers for any inconvenience. We are making every effort to restore these services as soon as possible."
Customers trying to access other services such as paying for foreign currency or travel insurance through their Post Office card accounts will also be affected and they are advised to use a cash machine to withdraw money and pay in cash instead.
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