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NFSP statement: Royal Mail partnership with PayPoint

Feb 22, 2024 |

The news that Royal Mail has partnered with PayPoint’s Collect+ network is disappointing for the Post Office network but can unfortunately be of little surprise.

If, under MDA2, the Post Office Ltd (PO) were allowed to go to other carriers, it is unsurprising that Royal Mail (RM) could do the same.

Rather than working together to take on growing competition, RM and PO have decided to cannibalise each other for their own individual interests. For centuries, the relationship between the two sides of the business, collections (PO) and deliveries (RM) have worked together symbiotically. Now, both seem to be on a path of degrees of separation, that benefits neither. RM had a perfectly amenable partner for its undelivered items, in postmasters but chose to make it difficult for customers to collect undelivered items at post offices. 

When we take in the strikes of December 2022 that flowed into January and February of 2023, this resulted in postmasters losing in the region of £26m in revenues therefore, it was right for PO to look at alternatives and to make other couriers and carriers such as Amazon, DPD and Evri available in post offices. Minimising risk means ensuring that as few aspects outside your control can impact your business. Given at that time, PO only sold RM products, these strikes had massive impact on PO's revenues. 

Since 2013, income from RM has steadily decreased from £409m to £310m by March 2023. That's the equivalent of £54m in postmaster remuneration.

Added to this, postmasters for years have highlighted losing business customers to RM time after time, placing financial hardship on those affected postmasters. As a result, postmasters have called for PO to go in that direction. The downside is that Royal Mail have now announced a multi-year partnership with PayPoint to maintain their share of the market.

The announcement by RM, is understandably a concern to postmasters across the network that their loyal customers may be diverted to the 5,000 Collect+ stores by the summer.

We have to ask what knowledge did the trade union involved have in this process? We have to ask that if there is a choice between the needs of 115,000 Royal Mail employees and the needs of a few thousand Post Office employees, where does that trade union’s loyalty lie and whether the needs of postmasters would ever be a consideration? 

It is for reasons such as today that the NFSP is asking whether the Restrictions Policy should be removed. As businesspeople, why should postmasters not be able to deal with Collect+ and all the growing services it offers?

This will be a concern to colleagues so we need to work together to ensure we are not only the expert in mails but giving our customers the best level of service we can as that is the reason they will choose to continue to use us, rather than the competition down the road. 

The NFSP will work with PO to help you achieve this and maintain your presence in your community.