Girobank records Internet rush for tax deadline

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Girobank records Internet rush for tax deadline

Emma Nash
As people rushed to meet the 31 January Self Assessment tax deadline, £3.3m-worth of transactions were processed at Girobank, the cash handling banking arm of Alliance & Leicester

The bank said some 700 people used its BillPay Internet bill payment service on the last day of January to pay their tax bills. The service handled £3.3m-worth of tax payments throughout the month.

According to Girobank spokesman Peter Brown, many of the people that used the service to pay their tax bills were new to the system, and are likely to return. BillPay currently processes 8,500 transactions every month.

"Having the Inland Revenue on board, and obviously with the self assessment deadline at this time of year, we've seen the number of people using BillPay increase significantly," explained Brown. "There are many people that have used it for the first time and are likely to return to pay other bills."

Launched in January 2000, BillPay enables people to pay all manner of bills via the Internet, including council tax to 100 councils across the country. This was the second year users were able to pay their tax bills, and volumes have doubled since 2001.

Users require a debit card to use the service ( www.billpayment.co.uk).

Girobank has big plans for the service and hopes an early entry will enable it to grab significant market share. However, the service is currently small fry for the bank. In 2000, Girobank processed some £79bn of business takings - the equivalent of £1 in every £4 that passes through the country's tills.

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