A DIGITAL cash service offering fast-track payments for emergency use is being made available for refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine through the Post Office.

The Payout Now service offers councils a way of providing refugees with emergency cash payments without the need to provide a visa or proof of address.

The concept, developed by Sussex-based security-print company Zunoma in partnership with the Post Office, provides instant and emergency cash relief to vulnerable people without the need for a bank account or a valid ID.

The scheme has helped over 103,000 individuals since launching in 2019.

Phil Ouzman, managing director at Zunoma, said: “This is a humanitarian crisis and we want to do what we can to help Ukrainian refugees find peace, heal, and have a chance at a brighter future.

“Whether it be a refugee or a UK citizen in need of emergency funds, the Payout Now service offers peace of mind that emergency cash will be available to those who need it.”

To access the service, refugees must contact or visit the nearest local council or Citizens Advice, which will be able to issue a one-time use barcode voucher for a nominated amount.

The barcode voucher is set to the customer via text or email, which can be exchanged at any Post Office branch for cash.

Vouchers can be redeemed at any of the 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK. With no need for a UK bank account, all payments are made in cash, giving refugees peace of mind that financial support is ready immediately.

The Post Office is also accepting donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee campaign to help Ukrainian refugees, with every pound donated being matched by the government up to a total of £20 million.

Simon Lambert, commercial director at the Post Office, said: “All those at the Post Office continue to be devastated by the conflict in Ukraine and we are committed to supporting the Ukrainians in any way that we can.

“Not only are we accepting donations in all of our branches to encourage the general public to easily donate, but our Payout Now service will offer hundreds of refugees emergency financial support from the moment they step foot in the UK.

The Argus:

The Argus has launched a fundraising appeal to help those affected by the horrific and barbaric war in Ukraine.

As we have reported since the Russian invasion began, the conflict is close to home, with people in Brighton and Hove and across Sussex having loved ones directly affected.

In recent weeks, The Argus has spoken to many who have fled the country or have family stuck in Ukraine and reported on the incredible and selfless acts of Sussex residents who have gone above and beyond to help those fleeing the war.

We, like many of you, want to help and be #ThereWithUkraine.

Money raised will go directly to the British Red Cross DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, helping civilians affected by the ongoing crisis. Your donation could help someone affected get food, water, first aid, medicines, warm clothes, and shelter.

To donate, go to our JustGiving page at justgiving.com/therewithukraine.