London’s shared service alliance of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster appoints Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) to manage its direct payments prepaid card programme

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), has been appointed by shared service alliance of local authorities (Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster) to manage a prepaid card programme for all social care service users who are in receipt of a direct payment.

The turnkey solution will initially target 140 users who had previously held a prepaid card and then will subsequently roll out to all 1,400 adult service users, followed by children. The alliance also aims to apply the same prepaid model for other departments in future too.

The deployment of prepaid cards is part of the local authority transformation agenda: by increasing the uptake of prepaid cards, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster are not only meeting the Care Act obligations of inclusion and enablement but they will also significantly streamline the administration of their payments operation.

Prakash Daryanani, Director of ASC Finance said: “We are looking forward to experiencing the immediate returns of leaner working practices and cost savings but a longer term benefit will be an improvement in our understanding of users’ spend which will help shape commissioning. Whilst it was possible to analyse all the paperwork provided by service users, a real-time, digital system will enable us to better monitor spend and ensure that there is a spectrum of high-quality support available.

“Prepaid cards will also completely remove the end user’s administrative headache of reconciling paper-based receipts and bank statements to provide transparency of spend.”

Noel Moran, CEO, Prepaid Financial Services said: “Our experience and expertise in managing other local authorities’ programmes meant that we were well positioned to understand the challenges of developing a prepaid solution to disburse social care direct payments.

The simplicity of using a PFS prepaid card belies the agile technology platform that underpins it - meaning that the three local authorities have the ability to create a bespoke programme that suited their specific requirements tailored to benefit their end users.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

PFS Media Contact

Ali Cort
0207 099 0945
ali.cort@browsermedia.co.uk

Vic Spall
0207 099 0945
victoria.spall@browsermedia.co.uk

About Prepaid Financial Services:

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) is an award winning payments technology specialist offering a comprehensive range of e-money and banking solutions including e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and current accounts in the UK and the Eurozone. Authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK, PFS has passported its e-money license across the SEPA region to enable card issuance throughout the region.

Founded in 2008, PFS is now one of the fastest growing issuers in Europe, with programmes live and active in 23 countries with the ability to transact in 20 different currencies. Its products and cutting-edge technology platforms are utilised by governments, local authorities, non-governmental organisations, mobile networking operators, banks, and corporates globally.

For more information about PFS’s payment solutions please contact: sales@prepaidfinancialservices.com

The evolution of contactless prepaid cards

PaymentEye:

Kevin McAdam, Director of Prepaid at allpay Limited

The speed and ease of online payments, as well as direct debits, has led to high expectations from those making a purchase or paying their bills.

People in all financial situations are looking for improvements to payment solutions that will save time and make their lives easier. Luckily, those in payment solutions are making small improvements that will lead to big change. Read the full article

 

European Online Transaction Rule Revised after Payments Industry Complaints

Paybefore: After absorbing hundreds of complaints from the payments industry, the European Banking Authority will relax its pending customer authentication rules for online transactions. The new rule, which requires two-factor authentication, will apply to transactions of €30 (US$32) instead of €10 (US$10.60), according to Andrea Enria, the authority’s chair. But given the rise in popularity of online shopping, 30 euros may not be a high enough threshold to assuage industry concerns. Read the full article

Related Stories:

Prepaid International Forum Argues against European Plan for Online Authentication

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust appoints PFS to manage its direct payments prepaid card programme

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), has been appointed by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT) to manage a prepaid card programme to distribute funds for social care and health budgets. As part of the programme, PFS will work alongside the Foundation’s direct payments partner, Disability Focus to distribute funds to over 400 service users.

PFS was initially shortlisted via the Surrey County Council prepaid cards framework and then selected via a subsequent tender process.

The solution will enable all service users to benefit from a more streamlined approach to receiving funds and paying for care, empowering individuals to have better control over their own health and social care budget, to choose their own providers and also to top up the funds if they wish.

Having a pre-payment card will enable people who are in receipt of a health or social care budget to have their funds directly loaded onto a card rather than having to set up a bank account and pay via cheque. This will be welcome news to those who receive direct payments, as they will be able to choose from a wider range of service providers and access funds sooner.

In addition, they will no longer need to submit bank statements and will not have to send so much paperwork to the Trust as proof of purchase, reducing lengthy admin time for clients and the Trust.

About batch payments

PFS developed new functionality for the Trust which included control capabilities to match the goals and requirements that TSDFT had for appropriately assisting their service users, each with varying disability levels. One such example is the ability to undertake batch control: this entails allowing the Trust to efficiently control bulk payments via user information and automatically make all of payments they need rather than having to do each one individually.

Other specific programme details:

  • ATM access is generally turned off but can be switched on by exception when needed.
  • The name on the card is usually the recipient but a nominated person can be used.
  • The Trust intends to load the cards every two weeks but a Third party partner may do multiple payments per day using batch bank payment control.

Steve Honeywill Assistant Director Operational Change, TSDFT, said:

“Allowing individuals to lead an independent life has always been at the heart of our ambitions for service delivery and this prepaid card programme is a really positive step forward in achieving that.”

Jon Corps, Senior Finance Manager, TSDFT said:

“Having a centralised, digital system will enable us to monitor the commissioning marketplace and ensure that we can meet the social and healthcare needs of communities now and into the future.”

Noel Moran, CEO, Prepaid Financial Services said:

“There are immense benefits in offering a prepaid card programme to a particularly vulnerable group such as those suffering from long term ill health. Relieving these groups of the administrative burden of manually managing the paperwork associated with their direct payment, is not to be underestimated.

“As well as taking the pressure of service users, a well-implemented prepaid card programme allows the provider’s finance team to focus on the more positive aspects of maintaining their health budgets without needing to chase users for and reconcile receipts and other paperwork.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

Media Contact

Ali Cort
0207 099 0945
ali.cort@browsermedia.co.uk

Vic Spall
0207 099 0945
victoria.spall@browsermedia.co.uk

About Prepaid Financial Services:

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) is an award winning payments technology specialist offering a comprehensive range of e-money and banking solutions including e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and current accounts in the UK and the Eurozone. Authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK, PFS has passported its e-money license across the SEPA region to enable card issuance throughout the region.

Founded in 2008, PFS is now one of the fastest growing issuers in Europe, with programmes live and active in 23 countries with the ability to transact in 20 different currencies. Its products and cutting-edge technology platforms are utilised by governments, local authorities, mobile networking operators, banks and corporates globally.

PFS has been listed within the top fastest growing technology companies in the UK by the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for four consecutive years and most recently ranked number 108 in Deloitte’s EMEA Technology Fast 500.

In the last 12 months, PFS has seen explosive of 60% growth from 2015 and a projected EBIT for 2016 of £6.5 million.

For more information about PFS’s payment solutions please contact: sales@prepaidfinancialservices.com

Red Cross provide prepaid solution to support refugees

Global humanitarian and aid organisation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has selected Prepaid Financial Services Limited (PFS) to provide a cashless management solution for refugees in Greece.

PFS, an established e-money issuer and alternative banking provider with an extensive background in financial solutions for the unbanked, is acting as the issuer of prepaid cards to target beneficiaries under the Hellenic Red Cross and IFRC Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) for people seeking asylum in Greece.

Due to the mass influx of refugees arriving in Greece, IFRC required a solution that offered refugees a secure and efficient way of receiving and managing money. It also needed to be deployed quickly and to allow IFRC to audit how the money was being spent.

The bespoke PFS prepaid card can only be used in Greece, and there are some restrictions on certain merchant category codes to ensure the money is used for the purpose of aid. Since the programme launched, cards have been issued to more than 4,250 people.

Noel Moran, CEO, Prepaid Financial Services said: “The prepaid cards allow refugees to make purchases for food and other essential items in a secure and dignified manner, as the cards look like any other credit or debit card. Importantly, as the card removes the need for refugees to carry large sums of cash, they are therefore less likely to be a target for criminals.

”PFS is incredibly proud to be able to support IFRC as we have other National Governments and charities that distribute aid via prepaid programmes across Europe in the wake of the ongoing migrant crisis. Our latest partnership with IFRC demonstrates that prepaid continues to be an effective and efficient method of distributing funds to those who are most vulnerable.”

Ruben Cano, Head of Country Officer, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said: “More than 60,000 people remain stranded in Greece, and in the North, many of them have survived the winter in tented accommodation, in areas where temperatures frequently fall below zero. It was therefore vital that IFRC found a secure method of disbursing funds to help refugees access basic provisions like food and warm clothing.

“The monitoring and reporting functionality of the programme has also been very important to us, because as a charity we have to demonstrate accountability. Not only that but being able to see where money is being spent, is also critical in helping us develop our future aid strategy.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

PFS Media Contact

Ali Cort
0207 099 0945
ali.cort@browsermedia.co.uk

Vic Spall
0207 099 0945
victoria.spall@browsermedia.co.uk

About Prepaid Financial Services:

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) is an award winning payments technology specialist offering a comprehensive range of e-money and banking solutions including e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and current accounts in the UK and the Eurozone. Authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK, PFS has passported its e-money license across the SEPA region to enable card issuance throughout the region.

Founded in 2008, PFS is now one of the fastest growing issuers in Europe, with programmes live and active in 23 countries with the ability to transact in 20 different currencies. Its products and cutting-edge technology platforms are utilised by governments, local authorities, mobile networking operators, banks and corporates globally.

PFS has been listed within the top fastest growing technology companies in the UK by the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for four consecutive years and most recently ranked number 108 in Deloitte’s EMEA Technology Fast 500.

In the last 12 months, PFS has seen explosive of 60% growth from 2015 and a projected EBIT for 2016 of £6.5 million.

For more information about PFS’s payment solutions please contact: sales@prepaidfinancialservices.com

About International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organisation, providing assistance without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.

Founded in 1919, the IFRC comprises 190 member Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, a secretariat in Geneva and more than 60 delegations strategically located to support activities around the world.

For more information please contact: Avra Fiala, IFRC communications officer Greece: avra.fiala@ifrc.org.

Wirecard selected as issuer for popular Bread4Scrap programme by Payment Card Solutions

Wirecard and Payment Card Solutions extend partnership with new collaboration

Aschheim (Munich)/Newcastle. Wirecard Card Solutions, a subsidiary of Wirecard AG, collaborates with Payment Card Solutions (PCS) - a leading UK based prepaid Programme Manager to deliver Bread4Scrap (B4S) Prepaid Mastercard, an award winning prepaid programme for scrap metal dealers.

Following the introduction of Home Office guidelines, which made cash payments for metal at recycling yards in England and Wales no longer legal. These changes made it compulsory that all transactions provide an effective audit trail, making it an offence to use cash to pay for scrap metal. Hence, the Bread4Scrap prepaid card programme was launched. It offers an effective tool for licensed scrap metal traders to adhere to these government guidelines. Read more

Paysafe appoints Oscar Nieboer as Chief Marketing Officer

Former Amazon, PayPal and Betfair marketing chief joins Group’s exec team

7 February 2017 - London: Paysafe announces that Oscar Nieboer has been appointed as the Group’s first Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), joining the payment provider’s executive leadership team and reporting to Paysafe President and CEO Joel Leonoff.

Nieboer brings extensive experience in ecommerce, technology and payments. He has worked both in the UK and Silicon Valley, holding senior strategic roles with companies including Amazon, PayPal and Betfair.

Leonoff said: “While our business with its growing portfolio of payment products and services has been at the forefront of change and innovation for many years, 2016 marked the first full year under our new Paysafe brand identity. With our ongoing growth and bold ambitions in the payments space, we welcome Oscar to the team with great enthusiasm and anticipation as we take our business and brand to the next level.”

Before joining Paysafe, Nieboer was CMO at Amazon Instant Video, an internet video on demand service developed, owned and operated by Amazon. Prior to that, he was CMO at PayPal EMEA, responsible for the company’s EMEA marketing function and driving its B2B, B2C, analytics and insights capabilities. Nieboer was previously Global Marketing and Brand Director for five years at Betfair, a leading global sports betting and gaming group, and also served as Managing Director of Virgin Games.

Nieboer said: “This is an extremely exciting time for Paysafe and the wider payments industry, which is rapidly growing and changing. I am joining such a talented team on the back of an exceptional year for the business. Paysafe has such a great culture of innovation in payments and I look forward to driving the brand’s growth as we continue to help our customers and consumers benefit from faster and simpler ways to send and receive money internationally.”

About Paysafe

Paysafe provides digital payments and transaction-related solutions to businesses and consumers around the world. Paysafe is redefining payments by enabling fast, convenient and secure ways to pay before, pay now and pay later through its digital wallets, prepaid solution, payment processing and card issuing, and acquiring products and services. With two decades of experience, Paysafe is trusted by merchants and consumers to move and manage money through more than 100 payment types and 40 currencies. Paysafe offers multi-platform products with an emphasis on emerging payment technologies including mobile. Paysafe’s brand portfolio includes NETELLER® and Skrill®, MeritCard, paysafecard®, payolution®, Income Access and FANS Entertainment. Paysafe Group plc shares trade on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol (PAYS.L). For more information, visit: www.paysafe.com.

For further information, contact:

Gavin Haycock, SVP Corporate Communications, Paysafe Group plc
Gavin.Haycock@paysafe.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3826 9767

Anna Howard, Head of Corporate Communications, Paysafe Group plc
Anna.Howard@paysafe.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3826 9822

Raphaels Bank and Faster Payments recognised for Industry Achievement of the Year

Raphaels Bank and the Faster Payments Scheme have kicked off 2017 with a joint award in recognition of the successful project to become the first new participant of the UK’s 24/7 real-time payment service. The payments innovators received the Industry Achievement Award at the prestigious Card and Payments Awards in front of 1,200 industry peers at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The award was presented in recognition of the ground-breaking work to open up access to Faster Payments, with Raphaels Bank joining in August 2016 to become the first new participant since the Scheme’s inception in 2008. Raphaels joined using the innovative New Access Model, acting as a sponsor to other payment service providers (PSPs) and enabling them to access true, 24/7 real-time payments via its connection. One of the first businesses Raphaels Bank worked with to deliver the benefits of this new initiative was TransferWise, enabling it to provide its customers with real-time transactions.

The Industry Achievement Award is a special award which is presented to the individual, team or organisation judged to have made the most significant contribution to the industry in the last year. The judging panel, made up of a broad spectrum of independent experts, commented: “The direct membership of Faster Payments is the happening of the year, driving a leading payments system unrivalled anywhere in the world.”  Raphaels Bank has been at the forefront of supporting the payments sector for more than a decade, and their latest award success follows a number of wins in 2016.

Janet Johnston, Head of Raphaels Bank Payment Services, said:

“We have a clear commitment to giving PSPs the ability to add value to their services through a wide range of payment solutions. And this latest award win is great recognition of that commitment.

“By opening up the Faster Payment Scheme for PSPs through a new direct access model, we are breaking new ground.  We have ambitious plans to expand our Faster Payments Scheme direct membership through sponsorships during 2017 with a number of other innovative launches, further demonstrating our ongoing commitment to collaboration with innovative and exciting fintech players.”

Craig Tillotson, Chief Executive of Faster Payments said:

“The Faster Payments New Access Model has been at the leading edge of the efforts in the UK to drive competition by opening up access to payment systems and we are delighted to be recognised with this award. Raphaels Bank have been at the vanguard of this important work, blazing the trail that has since been followed by three more challengers that have joined our world-leading service over the last few months, with many more in the pipeline in the year ahead.”

PIF in the News: Top Regulatory Issues in the UK and EU

Paybefore, 01.02.2017 - As the U.S. payments industry looks forward to regulatory relief, experts from the Prepaid International Forum talk about regulatory threats and opportunities for e-money in the U.K. and EU.

European regulators reeling from terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and Brussels in 2016, among others, turned their attention to prepaid cards last year, in an effort to crack down on terrorist financing. The proposals, which included prohibiting online use of anonymous prepaid cards as well as lowering the thresholds before customer due diligence (CDD) is required put the industry on alert. The Prepaid International Forum (PIF), a nonprofit trade group based in London, responded quickly, arguing for a risk-based approach to regulation rather than knee-jerk reactions that its members believed would do little to actually fight terrorist financing and money laundering. What’s more, the European Banking Authority announced a proposal for stronger authentication for electronic payments—part of its mandate under the Second Payments Services Directive (PSD2)—which many in the industry believe will hamper online commerce and basically put an end to one-click checkout, again without taking true risks into account.

Paybefore spoke with two leaders of PIF’s AML Working Group—Dr. Hartwig Gerhartinger, vice president, group regulatory and governmental affairs, Paysafe Group; and Giedre Mitkute, legal assistant, Locke Lord LLP—to find out more about these regulatory issues and what’s ahead in 2017. (See our EU Regulatory Glossary below for terms that may be helpful in following the discussion.) Read the full article