Raphaels Bank appoints Janet Johnston Head of Payment Services

Driving Forward New Innovations in Payments

Building on its award-winning position in the payments sector, Raphaels Bank has confirmed the appointment of Janet Johnston as Head of Payment Services.

Janet brings almost 30 years’ experience in the banking industry, beginning her career in South Africa where she held a number of senior positions in retail banking. She joined Raphaels Bank Payment Services in 2011 and has played a key role in the development of the Bank’s propositions for the burgeoning payments industry.

In her new role, Janet will continue to help the business focus on the development and launch of innovative payment propositions, as well as forging new relationships with key fintech partners. Read more

Paybefore 2017 Pay Awards: Call for Nominations

Paybefore, 4 January 2017: Don’t just say you’re the best in the industry—prove it. Showcase your latest innovations and brilliant people and earn international recognition as a Pay Awards winner. We are accepting nominations for our 11th annual competition in 24 categories, which will be evaluated by respected industry leaders.

Join the ranks of innovators forging a new path in payments the world over. Past winners hail from the U.S., Italy, U.K., Germany, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and more. Read more

PIF in the News: Six quick and safe alternatives to sending Christmas cash in the post

YourMoney.com - 21.12.2016: Some say giving cash as a Christmas present may come across as a bit cold or without much thought, but it gives the receiver the chance to buy what they actually want or need.

If you’re worried about sending money to children, family or friends, here are six quick and safe alternatives to sending cash in the post. Read the full article

UK Retailers to Receive Record Post-Xmas Bonus from Gift Card Sales

£3bn of Gift Cards to be given as Xmas presents this year

Retailers worried about their prospects in 2017 are to receive a welcome post-Christmas bonus thanks to a record year for sales of gift cards and vouchers.

This Christmas, the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), the not-for-profit trade body representing the prepaid financial services sector, predicts that UK present buyers will give friends, colleagues and loved ones an estimated £3bn of gift cards for them to treat themselves.

This is expected to convert into an extra £4.2bn being spent in stores in early 2017, with the average shopper topping up their gift by an average of 40%.

The high level of sales is being attributed to a number of factors.  Firstly, more cards and vouchers are able to be spent online, making them a more appealing gift for people looking to choose their present through online stores.

Secondly, growth has been accelerated by an increased trend for busy shoppers to leave their gift buying later this year, making gift cards a useful addition for time-poor shoppers looking to complete their Christmas lists.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says:

“So far 2016 has been a record year for sales of pre-paid gift cards, topping the previous record set over the equivalent period from 2015.  Early indications are that this will be boosted by another strong Christmas, with shoppers using pre-paid cards especially, as a safe and reliable way to give loved ones a special treat.

“Innovations such as the increased access to online stores are proving popular, as are multi-store gift cards that allow recipients to shop around for their treat across a wide range of all major UK retailers."

Retailers in fashion, beauty products and electrical items are expected to be the major beneficiaries of post-Christmas boost from people spending their gift cards.

UK managing director at One4all, the Post Office multi-store gift card, Declan Byrne, comments:

“These figures are especially good news for retailers because they stimulate extra sales and bring new customers into stores, especially in the period after Christmas which can otherwise be a little flat.

“We know from our research that for every £1 spent from a gift card, a customer will typically add an extra 40 pence of their own money to top-up to a something that’s a really special item. And typically, when customers use them to buy electrical goods - such as the latest must have gadget, laptop or smart TV - stores tend to see a top-up spend of 100% of the gift card’s value.

“As much as 50% of people receiving gift cards will be setting their sights on fashion, making this especially good news for this sector.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

About PIF

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF) is a principal trade association for the prepaid industry. 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

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) launches prepaid card programme for Samaritan’s Purse to provide financial support to refugees in Greece

London, November 29, 2016 - Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) a leading e-money institution that specialises in prepaid cards and alternative banking services, has today announced the launch of a programme for international relief organisation, Samaritan’s Purse, to provide financial aid to refugees and migrants across Greece.

Samaritan’s Purse has been operating programmes in Greece for over a year, improving conditions in refugee sites and bringing hope and dignity to refugees and migrants by providing water and sanitation infrastructure, shelter, supporting community initiatives, aiding people in accessing  asylum services, and distributing emergency food, hygiene kits, and critical relief items.

This new cash programme will allow Samaritan’s Purse to further provide for basic needs by giving refugees and migrants access to prepaid cash cards. Given the varying needs of a diverse population, cash programming allows refugees and migrants to purchase exactly what they need in the local markets in a dignified way that supports resilience.

PFS are acting as the issuer of cards. Samaritan’s Purse is distributing the prepaid cards to vulnerable refugees and migrants across Greece. Of all the methods available for distributing cash, multi-purpose grants in the form of prepaid cash cards are the most appropriate for the context. The prepaid cards provide a secure method of distributing funds as cards have unique PIN codes with ATM and Point of Sale (POS) capabilities.

Noel Moran, PFS CEO said: “As the migrant crisis in Europe continues, PFS is pleased to provide a solution that will help Samaritan’s Purse manage fund disbursements, while also supporting financial inclusion, and giving financial stability to refugees and asylum seekers.

“Although the scheme has rolled out very recently, we are confident that this new method of distributing funds will alleviate pressure on Samaritan’s Purse, letting them focus on continuing to improve conditions and support people in camps.”

Sally Morson, Cash Program Manager for Samaritan’s Purse said: “Until recently, our main support was provided through in-kind distributions. Now, we are moving towards a cash based response where the refugees and migrants will be given the freedom of choice which promotes dignity and resilience. The prepaid cash card is a good modality because it is a secure way within Greece to access what they need in the local markets given the varying needs of a diverse population.”

PFS has a wealth of experience in delivering prepaid solutions that provide financial support for end users of charities, Local Authorities, and National Governments across Europe, offering card programmes that work seamlessly across borders and allowing refugees and asylum seekers to use prepaid cards for financial inclusion.

-ENDS-

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 25 countries with the ability to transact in 22 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 25 fastest growing technology companies in the UK by the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for 3 consecutive years and most recently ranked number 108 in Deloitte’s EMEA Technology Fast 500.

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

Media Contact:

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

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

About Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian international relief organisation providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine.

Media Contact:

David Taylor
david.taylor@samaritans-purse.org.uk

Amy Kuhl
akuhl@samaritan.org

PIF in the News: EBA’s proposals on SCA might harm consumers and PSPs – PIF says

28 November 2016: The Paypers - The Prepaid International Forum (PIF) has joined pan-European initiative to express grave concerns with the European Banking Authority’s proposal to tighten customer authentication for online payments.

The move follows the latest EBA proposed Regulatory Technical Standards on Strong Customer Authentication under PDS2 that introduces disproportionate security requirements to the detriment of consumers, merchants and issuers of prepaid products.

As a result, PIF has added its signature to a letter to Vice-President Dombrovskis at the European Commission. The letter, which has been signed by 39 European and national organisations representing the payments, cards, ecommerce, small merchants, ICT and digital technology, telecoms, foreign trade, and leisure and travel industries, questions the EBA’s prescriptive approach by mandating strong authentication for all remote payment transactions over EUR 10, regardless of their risk. Read the full article

PIF in the News: Prepaid International Forum Argues against European Plan for Online Authentication

28 November: Paybefore - The Prepaid International Forum has joined the chorus of criticism of a European plan for new online transaction authentications, following the lead of Visa and other payment industry participants.

The trade group said Nov. 28 that it has signed a letter addressed to Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission vice president in charge of financial services, “that outlines the potential harms” of new and stronger online authentication rules. The European Banking Authority in January is set to release its online transaction rules in response to the revised Payment Services Directive, or PSD2, which calls for “strong customer authentication” for online payments. The authority wants to tighten authentication for online transactions of 10 euros (US$10.60) or more. The rules would apply to domestic e-commerce operations and foreign Websites selling to European consumers. Read the full article