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The poverty premium and payments systems

This new report from Fair by Design looks at the extra costs people on low-income households can face when using payment systems, and what we can do about it.

Millions of payments are made every day in the UK. But many of the systems we use to pay for essential goods and services haven't been designed with people in poverty in mind.

Some payment methods create a 'poverty premium' - meaning people on low incomes can be charged more for the way they spend their money. For example, some people don't have bank accounts so have no access to direct debits, which tend to be a cheaper way to pay for bills.

In this report, Fair by Design look into the poverty premium within payment systems. They finish with a number of recommendations, including for Ofgem to remove the extra charges low-income customers pay for paying on receipt of bill, and to ensure people have free access to cash - rather than having to use fee-charging ATMs.

Poverty premium and payments systems title page

09 May 2023

The poverty premium and payments systems