Due to the closure, millions of households now rely on friends, family and neighbors to deliver food, recipes and other supplies to their homes.
But many readers are concerned with how to pay these good Samaritans if they can’t leave the house to get cash and are warned against handing over their debit or credit card and pin.
Some community groups have advised volunteers not to expect payment.
But with many of the country’s most vulnerable people, including the over-70s and those with health problems, isolating themselves for three months, this just won’t be practical in many cases.
Lifeline: Millions of households now rely on friends, family and neighbors to deliver essentials to their door – but paying them can be a problem
Banks have suggested using checks, but like cash, many fear that they may contain bacteria.
Here Money Mail walks you through the ways you can transfer money without leaving the house …
Make an online transfer
If you do online or mobile banking, you can transfer money directly to someone’s bank account in minutes.
You only need their name, account number and sorting code. Those who have not yet set up internet banking should visit their bank’s website for instructions.
The registration process varies from bank to bank, but you will usually need to provide personal information, including your name, date of birth and account information.
You may then receive an activation code by text or post. Many banks also require you to ask some security questions to answer when you log into your account.
Alternatively, smartphone users can download the mobile app from their bank. You can then make bank transfers in much the same way – and it can be even faster, as you can often approve new payments with your fingerprint.
Be careful entering the correct account number and sort code. Getting one digit wrong can mean your money ends up in a stranger’s account and it’s hard to get it back afterwards.
Try to transfer just £ 1 first, then call the person you pay to make sure it arrived before sending the rest.
Pay by phone
Those with telephone banking can pay bills and transfer money to individuals just by calling their bank.
The service is usually set up over the phone with your account number, sort code, and personal information such as your date of birth.
However, keep in mind that many banks have reduced the number of staff in their call centers, so it may take a while to get through.
Banks have also said they will prioritize their more vulnerable customers, key workers and those in financial distress.
If you have internet access, check whether you can set up online banking by phone.
For example, Royal Bank of Scotland customers who register for Digital Banking also have access to its telephone banking service.
No money to pay family and friends
Howard Hardy and his wife Glenys are vulnerable to age and health and isolate themselves.
Self-Isolating: Howard Hardy and his wife Glenys are vulnerable because of their age and health
The couple have friends and family in Cheshire who supply supplies, but Howard, 74, says they don’t have enough money at home to pay for them.
He says, “We can’t get out of the house to go to the bank. It is against the rules to give someone a credit or debit card plus our pin.
We can’t pay with plastic and we can’t expect anyone to fund our isolation for 12 weeks. ‘
Howard has a PayPal account, as do some friends and neighbors.
He says, “It should work, because it provides security if we have to buy online and not have to reveal our bank details.
Sign up for a PayPal account
Paypal makes it easy to send money to friends and family in the UK for free, if they also have a PayPal account.
To sign up, you must register your email address and choose a password. Then you need to add your bank account or card details.
Once your account is active, you can make a payment by logging in and clicking ‘send and request’ at the top of the page.
Then select the type of payment you want and enter the recipient’s email address and the cash amount.
When sending money to individuals, such as neighbors delivering your groceries, choose the “send to family and friends” option.
This ensures that the recipient does not pay a fee to receive the money.
Send money by SMS
You can pay friends and family using only their mobile phone number with free services like Paym – which should already be an option if you use a mobile banking app. Both you and the recipient must register your mobile numbers.
You can do this through your banking app. The beneficiary does not need a smartphone for payments to expire, but must register his number with his bank or construction association.
Once you are both registered, you can simply make a payment through your banking app. But instead of entering their account number and sort code, you can simply dial a number from the contact list stored on your phone.
Then confirm the name, enter the amount you want to pay (usually up to £ 250 per day) and hit send.
You will immediately receive confirmation that your payment has been sent.
Load a prepaid card
A prepaid card can be useful because you can simply top it up with the money you need to run errands that week.
You can request the tickets online within minutes. Many are free, although some come with spending limits.
You can add money with a debit card or bank transfer. One card provider, Monese, has a simple mobile account that is free to use, but you have to pay £ 4.95 for card delivery.
A TransferWise account comes with a free card that can be topped up.
Use the ATM with a code
Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest offer customers access to cash at an ATM without a debit or debit card.
The customer just needs to generate a code with his mobile banking app, which can then be entered into the ATM.
Select the ‘Get Money’ option in the app and select how much money you want to make available (up to a maximum of £ 130).
The code is then sent to you and you can forward it to the friend or neighbor who needs the money to pay for your groceries.
They can use it at all RBS and NatWest ATMs or those outside Tesco stores.
They must press the ‘enter’ key on the machine and follow the instructions on the screen. The code remains active for three hours.
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