Sheffield City Council

PayPoint OpenPay


Sheffield City Council is responsible for providing financial assistance to residents who are struggling to meet their basic needs. In 2022, the council received funding from the government to provide the Household Support Fund (HSF) and the Local Assistance Scheme (LAS). These schemes provide financial assistance to residents with essential costs, such as:

  • Food
  • Energy bills
  • Water bills
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Council tax
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Household essentials
  • Transport costs
  • Utilities bills


The council had been distributing the HSF and LAS funds via cheque and BACS payments. However, this was a slow and cumbersome process. Cheques could take up to two weeks to arrive, and BACS payments could take up to three days to reach the recipient. This meant that residents who were facing financial hardship were having to wait a long time to receive financial assistance.

PayPoint OpenPay - Cashout and Essentials Voucher Solution

In order to provide their residents with immediate assistance, Sheffield Council chose to use PayPoint’s OpenPay solution to distribute the HSF and LAS funds.

The council used PayPoint’s Cash Out service, a voucher system that allows payments in cash of any sum up to £100 that can be collected by customers in over 28,000 PayPoint stores across the UK. Vouchers may also be used for energy credit and can be sent immediately via email, SMS, or post.

The council also used PayPoint’s Essential Vouchers. The recipient receives an Essentials e-Code, sent by SMS or email, up to the value of £500. The e-Code can then be exchanged for a shopping voucher (e-gift voucher) from a select range of retailers and, most importantly, used to purchase specific items such as food, clothing, and white goods, either in-store or online.

The solution proved to be a much faster and more convenient way for residents to receive the help they need.

Benefits of PayPoints CashOut Solution

The PayPoint OpenPay solution has a number of benefits for Sheffield City Council, including:

  • Faster payments: Residents can present their vouchers immediately, which means they get the help they need sooner.
  • More convenient: Residents can present their vouchers at any PayPoint retailer, which is convenient for them.
  • Saves time: The PayPoint Cash Out solution saves staff time and is a more cost-effective way to distribute funds than cheques or BACS payments.

Benefits of PayPoints Essentials Voucher Solution

The PayPoint OpenPay solution has a number of benefits for Sheffield City Council, including:

  • Control: Sheffield Council has complete control over how and where the funds are spent. They are able to limit the use of the cards so that they can only be put towards the purchase of necessities from specific stores.
  • Simple: Easy to implement through an uncomplicated online portal.
  • Complete visibility: Comprehensive reporting, and control over the validity of e-codes


PayPoints OpenPay solution has been a success for Sheffield City Council. It has helped the council distribute the HSF and LAS funds quickly, efficiently, and at a lower cost.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the PayPoint OpenPay solution also has the following advantages:

  • Secure: The council does not need to collect and process customer bank account information. which reduces or eliminates data risks as it limits the data held by the council.
  • Reliable: Over 450 clients in central and local government, energy and utilities, and banking trust PayPoint to deliver over 600 million payments a year for their customers, all certified to the highest security standards of IS027001.
  • Scalable: PayPoint can scale its services to meet the needs of any local authority.

"PayPoints OpenPay solution was implemented swiftly, and we are now able to distribute funds quickly, conveniently, and securely while making savings in terms of cost and resources. We have complete visibility and control over how and when vouchers have been presented due to the comprehensive reporting. Most critically, our residents can obtain the financial assistance they require in a timely and secure manner."

Alex Westran
Service Manager – Cost of Living Support Hub

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