PC Pro Magazine


It’s a warm Friday night in late June 2020 and Katie Shadwell is wondering what to make her kids for tea. Her benefits payment from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) should have landed in her account by now so she can buy enough food to get her and two children through the weekend at least.

She avoids the queues in the local supermarket and uses the automatic tills instead. She runs through about £20 worth of groceries, including a couple of ice creams that she promised the kids if they were good – a rare treat – and pays with her card. Payment declined. Pesky auto tills.

Katie gathers up her shopping, queues for ten minutes with the melting ice creams to reach the only till being manned by a human being, and having rescanned the shopping again, hands her card over to pay. Payment declined. The supermarket assistant can’t tell her why, only that she can’t leave the store with her shopping without handing over £20. That’s money Katie doesn’t have.

She leaves the supermarket with two crying children, fighting back the tears herself until she can get out of the shop and work out what’s going on. She fires up the Pockit app on her smartphone, praying she’s got enough data left to find out what’s going on. Her benefits payment hasn’t dropped. Her balance is near zero. Her app is showing strange error messages.

She gets back home with two hot and hungry children and manages to rustle up something from the scraps in the kitchen that passes for tea. She doesn’t eat herself. Instead, she spends the rest of the evening trying to reach Pockit’s customer services to find out why her payments haven’t arrived. The payments

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