Brent Council Direct Payments Initiative Named Winner in 2013 Paybefore Awards Europe

Brent Council Direct Payments Initiative Named Winner in 2013 Paybefore Awards Europe
Thursday 4 April 2013

Award Recognises Councils’ Innovative Approach to Delivering Social Care Benefit Payments

Prepaid Financial Services, a leading provider of global prepaid solutions and a preferred MasterCard® supplier, is delighted to announce that the London Borough of Brent Council, has been chosen as a winner in the Best Corporate or Government-Funded Prepaid Programme category, in the 2013 Paybefore Awards Europe.

The Brent Council Direct Payments Initiative is designed to deliver efficiency and cost savings to grow critical social care benefit payment services whilst meeting Government austerity measures.

The Chip and PIN card is all part of a new way of providing care which puts service users in the driving seat, by making it easier for them to buy the services they need, as and when they need them. Clients can use the card at approved merchants as long as the money is spent on an agreed expenditure or an approved person or organisation.

Previously, customers had this facility via a bank account; however, they were required to keep bank statements and all other supporting documentation whilst keeping a manual record of all their transactions, and completing lengthy, time consuming returns for the council.

Now, the record of transactions is automatically maintained by the prepayment card system, every time the card is used - saving time for everyone.

Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Director of Finance at Brent, commented: "Everyone in Adult Social Care who set up the scheme and helped it become such a success can be rightly proud of their achievements. Prepayment cards really are the future because they enable adults to determine their own lives by making and paying for their own choices and I am proud Brent has led the way and set the standard for other Local Authorities to follow by introducing this system.”

Josephine Wessels, Project Manager at Brent, added: “The short timescale from design to inception and then to a general rollout has been the result of a very enthusiastic pilot user group which was made up of all sections of the Direct Payments user community. We could not have achieved this without our service users taking an active part in the design and testing."

Brent Council Direct Payments Initiative now will vie for best-in-category distinction with results to be announced on 18th April at the Prepaid Expo Europe in London.

Noel Moran, CEO of Prepaid Financial Services, commented: “We are delighted to have partnered with Brent Council in delivering this award winning programme. The Direct Payments Initiative is an excellent programme that is helping Brent Council maintain and grow vital Adult Social Care services in the face of austerity measures and an excellent endorsement of the vital role that Prepaid Financial Services are playing in helping local authorities save costs, drive efficiencies and streamline administration.”

Paybefore Awards Europe was created to honour excellence and innovation in the prepaid, stored value and emerging payments industry in the U.K. and Europe. The London Borough of Brent program, supported by Prepaid Financial Services, was selected by a panel of five industry experts who served as judges for this year’s competition.

Marilyn Bochicchio, Paybefore’s CEO, commented: “As the world changes, so do the payment and money management needs of individuals, businesses and government agencies. The Paybefore Awards recognise organisations that use financial services to make people’s lives better, which is why it is so exciting for us to honour those who champion innovation and excellence.”

For more information, go to www.brent.gov.uk

Prepaid Financial Services is a UK based multi-award winning global prepaid provider, e-money Issuer and a preferred MasterCard supplier. PFS is authorised and regulated as an e-money issuer by the FSA in the UK and have passported our e-money license across the SEPA region to enable card issuance in up to 32 countries. PFS operate as an acquirer, issuer, BIN Sponsor and Programme manager in the Global prepaid arena. For further information regarding Prepaid Financial Services and how prepaid solutions can benefit your organisation, contact +44 (0)207 125 0321 or sales@prepaidfinancialservices.com