Camden Coo-l Project
Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) launched the Camden COO-L Prepaid MasterCard® in conjunction with Camden Council in February 2011.
PFS worked hand in hand with Camden Council to devise and execute a programme that would actively encourage ‘positive leisure activities and pastimes’ that are not always accessible to young people in the Borough, often due to financial and societal constraints. The product is aimed at young people who are eligible for free school meals in school years 9-11 and also young people in care or who have learning disabilities and difficulties.
By creating a financial product that could be issued to youngsters in the Borough, the project aimed to empower young people to take control of their finances while providing them access to facilities that may go on to change a life or provide youngsters with an outlet for their enthusiasm! The Council wanted these young people to engage in leisure activities in a positive way with the belief that positive behaviour brings positive rewards.
The feedback on this project has been overwhelmingly positive. Participants use the range of services available, extensively, and often.
Camden Council approached PFS to create a payment card for disadvantaged young people that they could use to pay for positive activities.
Camden Council had a number of criteria:
- Funds could be loaded to the card quickly and easily by the council
- Funds on the card could not be spent at merchants other than the merchants participating in the scheme, these included swimming pools, cinemas, museums, leisure centres, dance schools and theatres.
- Funds on the card could not be accessed at an ATM
- Cardholders would be alerted automatically when funds were loaded to their card
What PFS delivered for Camden Council
The delivery of a project of this nature required in-depth planning, clear goals and a precise implementation strategy. Together with Camden Council, PFS have created a product that allows cardholders to access leisure activities that they may not previously have been able to.
The maintenance, servicing and expansion of a programme of this nature provided a unique set of challenges. We implemented custom-built methodology for card delivery, distribution, activation and loading. PFS have supported Camden Council in improving the offering which included the roll out of the capacity to manage the card using SMS.
In order to succeed, the card needed merchants and service providers in the Camden area to buy into the scheme and support it. In partnership with Camden Council a full range of merchants from a variety of sectors were sourced, and were made available to participants at discounted rates.
From a technical perspective the product implementation also required development at the payment processor, to refuse transactions from certain sources, and from ATMs. This is an example of the flexibility that allows PFS to offer a range of socially responsible products that can be tailored to clients needs.
The program has been such a success that Camden Council in conjunction with PFS are now rolling out a number of payment disbursement services to a wider age group, with cards and services being offered to parents, guardians as well as young people.The Camden Coo-l Prepaid MasterCard is issued by Transact Network Limited pursuant to a license from MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. Transact Network Limited is a licensed E-money institution by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.