Since 2012, allpay has been providing bill payment services to the City Council, allowing its citizens to pay rent, council tax and parking charges at any UK Post Office and PayPoint. As part of the service, allpay processes more than 1 million payments per annum, collecting more than £80 million per annum for the Council across both networks.
In 2016, allpay won the tender to provide a prepaid card solution, allowing the Council to disburse adult and children’s social care payments onto prepaid cards, providing real-time monitoring of accounts and reducing the need for service users to provide receipts and financial monitoring statements back to the Council. This followed the implementation of allpay’s instant issue card solution in 2013, procured by the Local Welfare & Provision Team at the City Council, following the devolution of the Social Fund from job centres to local authorities.
As part of the tender, allpay supplies the Council with an Organisation Portal, allowing its Adults and Children’s social care and health services teams to order new prepaid cards, load and recover funds and monitor spend to ensure funds are spent in-line with service users’ care plans.
Following training, allpay provided onsite consultancy to the Council, aiding it in the delivery of the key tasks and functions to carry out the prepaid service – allowing it to maximise the use of allpay’s self-service reporting suite. This, for example, allows the Council to recover funds from service users where it’s identified that they have more funding than is required to support their care plan and to show whether a service user has made the appropriate client contributions to support their care plan.
The Council took a gradual approach to promoting prepaid cards to its service users – initially communicating to tranches of 300 service users at a time and communicating the benefits of the card which, after a period of initial monitoring at the outset of the prepaid account, reduced or removed the need for service users to submit financial monitoring forms back to the Council each quarter.
The card, which is issued on Mastercard, can be used in the same way as a traditional bank account, with service users able to use the cards to pay for personal assistant(s) wages directly into their bank accounts or they can set up regular payments using recurring payments or direct debits. It also allows them to make standing order payments onto the cards where they are assessed as needing to make contributions to the care.
Additionally, those users identified as needing further support to manage their account can have a secondary card linked to their account which can be managed by a family member, carer or other approved person. To further support the implementation process, allpay supplied an online video for the Council to display on its website, and within the communications, promoting the benefits of the cards to service users to aid take-up.