London Borough of Lewisham

Care leavers receive allowance via prepaid cards

London borough lowers processing costs and reduces risk and improves convenience for users

    The challenge

    The London Borough of Lewisham is an inner-city district serving over 248,000 people.

    When young people who have been placed in the Borough's care leave it at the age of 18, they receive a weekly allowance to help them continue in education or seek employment.

    Previously, recipients had to visit the borough council offices on a weekly basis to collect their allowance in cash. This created potential risks of theft or loss for both council staff and recipients, while also requiring a complex cash management process.

    In addition, it provided young people with little incentive to manage their own budgets.

    The solution

    Citi devised a solution that would allow young recipients to receive their allowance securely and conveniently via a prepaid card. The card can be used at checkouts, on the internet, by phone or to withdraw cash at ATMs.

    Prepaid cards are simple for the borough council to set up and are loaded remotely with the recipient's payment. In addition, weekly reports can be generated to give insight into how the young people are managing their money.

    If a card is lost or stolen, it can be easily replaced and any money on it recovered.

    The result

    Citi's prepaid card solution is expected to reduce Lewisham's processing costs by 62%. It will also greatly reduce risk for both the users and the borough, while also increasing convenience.