Prepaid Industry is “Poised To Completely Replace Cheques For Canadian Businesses”

DCR Strategies Inc: With an annual decline in cheque use of 7 percent across the nation, Payments Canada predicts that, by 2020, virtually every business and government office in Canada will have switched from cheques to electronic payments, including prepaid.

Consumers, businesses, and the financial system are all migrating away from the outdated cheque-based system and choosing electronic payments–particularly prepaid–because of Canada’s stable regulatory environment and the benefits of prepaid compared with credit, debit and cash. Read the full article

PIF in the News: PIF Seeks Clarity, Exemptions as U.K. Moves toward PSD2

Paybefore: As the U.K. moves ahead with plans to implement the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) has asked regulators for more clarification on certain aspects of how the framework will be applied in the country. In a response letter to HM Treasury’s February request for industry consultation on its PSD2 implementation plan, PIF expressed support for the government’s strategy.

The U.K.-based prepaid industry association also encouraged regulators to take advantage of certain exemptions in PSD2 to benefit U.K. payment services providers facing uncertainty during the ongoing Brexit process. (The U.K. will implement PSD2 by January 2018, despite its planned departure from the European Union.). Read the full article

PIF in the News: U.K. Makes Official Its Intent to Leave EU

Paybefore - 29 March 2017

A little after noon in Brussels March 29, a British ambassador delivered a letter to EU Council President Donald Trusk that set the wheels into motion for the U.K.’s exit from the EU. Today’s announcement makes official the results of the historic vote June 23, when 52 percent of voters in the U.K. stunned many around the world when they opted to leave, or “Brexit,” as it’s commonly called.The letter triggers Article 50, the legislation enabling a country to leave the union, of which the U.K. has been a member since 1973. The article provides a two-year period of negotiations to reach an agreement on the terms of the U.K.’s exit—and there’s much to be discussed. In addition to such topics as trade, financial regulations and immigration, a huge issue for the payments industry is how passporting will work because a large majority of European e-money issuers have licenses in the U.K. that they passport elsewhere.

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF), a trade association for the prepaid financial services sector, urged Prime Minister Theresa May and the U.K.’s Brexit negotiators to avoid any scenarios involving trade barriers to the financial markets, especially in the fintech sector, according to an announcement. Read the full article

PIF: ‘Frictionless’ Brexit Key to FinTech Sector’s Success in UK and EU

29 March 2017 - The Fintech sector has called for a ‘frictionless’ Brexit deal for its sector, highlighting how this is in the best interests of both the UK and the EU.

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF), the not-for-profit trade association for the prepaid financial services sector, is advising Theresa May and the UK’s Brexit negotiators, that a scenario where barriers to trade are strictly enforced in the financial markets, especially in the fast-growing financial technology sector, is a ‘no-win’ game.

PIF points to the key role that the UK currently plays in the EU’s FinTech sector, in particular the prepaid financial services sector which is estimated to be worth £65 billion annually across the EU and UK.

The trade group highlights the concentration of skills and expertise in the UK which is currently seen as the gateway to Europe for US and other international FinTech businesses.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says:

“The UK has become the European capital of FinTech because of the size of its domestic market, a concentration of a highly skilled workforce and high quality regulation that supports innovation and growth.

“Removing financial passporting to the EU, that currently allows UK based businesses to access Europe and vice versa, will harm both parties. 

“A pragmatic approach from both parties in the Brexit negotiation would not only protect jobs and the wider economy, but also ensure that the EU continues to benefit from the advances in innovative financial services and greater financial inclusion being driven by FinTech and prepaid sector businesses.”

PIF also believes that the UK should maintain the standardisation of regulatory standards post-Brexit.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, continues:

“FinTech is an increasingly international sector, with the UK very much seen as a flag bearer of regulatory standards and consumer protection.  Maintaining this role will require keeping at least the minimum standard regulation applied in other territories, including the EU.

 “We call on the UK government to address passporting matters early on in the process to bring about clarity and safeguard business continuity.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

About PIF

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF) is a not-for-profit trade association representing the prepaid financial services sector. We believe that prepayment is a responsible way to pay for goods and services, and that consumers should be confident in the security of prepaid services and the money that is stored on their behalf.

Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit organisation, PIF works closely with industry, regulators, government departments, consumer bodies and the media to promote understanding of prepaid as well as providing support and education to proponents of prepaid worldwide. To learn more about PIF visit www.prepaidforum.org

For further information

Rick Hollister
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9140
E: christine@pragencyone.co.uk

Steve Leigh
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9141
M: 07734 805 499
E: steve@pragencyone.co.uk

James Crawford
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9141
M: 07793 441 686
E: james@pragencyone.co.uk

 

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.