This service offering is a further example of the company’s widening prepaid banking services.
Five years ago the banking industry teamed up with the UK government to introduce the ‘faster switching rules’ which allow customers to switch their bank or building society accounts quickly. Named the Current Account Switch Service, it was launched in September 2013 and over 2.5 million switchers have now used the service. PFS has been the first non-bank participant to provide a partial version of the service, working directly with Bacs to enable customers to move their payment arrangements to their prepaid account in a simple, reliable and hassle-free way. PFS manages the whole process throughout, with the cardholder initiating the switch simply when they log into their online cardholder portal. The partial version provides complete transfer of payment arrangements, without closing the existing bank or building society account.
The service has been embraced by PFS, in response to demand from specific customer groups such as local authorities and would be ideal for HMRC or DWP payment arrangements. The product also provides a solution for Credit Unions and debt management companies to offer to their customers.
Benefits to local authorities
By using prepaid card accounts for direct benefit payments, many local authorities are already experiencing administrational benefits and efficiencies. Local authorities that now allow recipients to switch their benefit-related payments to that same prepaid card account, will also be better placed to monitor their benefits schemes overall. Specifically, ensuring an individual is spending their benefits payments appropriately by tracking them automatically, which reduces the need to rely on paper-based evidence supplied by the recipient themselves.
Many recipients include the elderly, the disabled and those with learning difficulties, so the roll out of a streamlined partial account switching service from PFS will also allow local authorities to improve their duty of care to these more vulnerable groups.
Noel Moran, CEO of PFS said:
“Switching regular care-related payments to a prepaid card account was previously a time consuming and overly-complicated process, but our new and completely automated system means that all of that headache is taken away – both for the local authority and the individual recipient. This is not simply FinTech for Fintech’s sake but it is solving a very real problem for real people.”
“Trust in high-street banks is low and individuals are realising the benefits of looking beyond the traditional options for their financial needs. With support from Bacs, PFS has become the first e-money issuer and non-bank entity to offer this partial account switching service and is recognition of our continued determination to offer the public and the financial services sector in the UK and Europe an alternative way to manage their money.”