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E-commerce access granted to UK troops

23 April 2012 - 09:55 by Mike Price

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Members of the armed forces will have found it tough to carry out shopping online while deployed overseas because most e-commerce companies will actually have been unable to deliver directly to them.

However, a change in the system recently announced by the Ministry of Defence, means that thousands of British troops posted to various parts of the planet will be able to enjoy the same e-commerce affordability and convenience as those living permanently in the UK.

Personnel and their families will benefit from a series of online postcodes, which replace the incompatible British Forces Post Office (BFPO) service for online transactions.

Importantly, the troops will also be able to keep their credit history tied to the UK, which means that as well as enjoying safe shopping online, they can also use the web to search for mortgages, loans and lots of other important financial products.

Defence minister, Andrew Robathan, said that the flexibility of domestic e-commerce services was now able to benefit members of the UK's armed forces, no matter where they happen to be.

Robathan also said that the MoD was determined to make life in the military as simple as possible from a practical point of view, so that families can get on with day to day activities without disruption.

BFPO spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Ian Stark, said that he was well aware of the major changes that this new system would make possible for overseas troops.

The new database of postcodes means that troops can use the internet just like anyone who lives in the UK, enabling them to buy the products they need on a regular basis.

This should have a knock-on boost to the UK's online economy, which will doubtless grow, thanks to the flood of new prolific users.