10% of Local Authorities have decided to appoint Advanced Payment Solutions (APS) to manage their benefit payments and their social care direct payments. APS is now actively working with over 10% of Local Councils around the UK. The latest councils to announce that they will use APS’s award winning Cashplus® Account include: Lancashire County Council, The London Borough of Lambeth and City of York. These councils are now moving to a position where they will no longer use cheques or cash to make payments to their Service Users. The money will instead be paid directly and made immediately available to recipients’ Cashplus Accounts. There is no need for the claimant to have a traditional bank account and there is the added benefit of on-line monitoring of spend where appropriate.
The Coalition Government’s plans to reform and simplify benefits, were widely supported and councils have been looking for innovative ways to cut costs, meet the ‘Putting People First’ vision, and reduce fraud, which was estimated at £5.2billion. APS increases flexibility and simplifies the management of benefits and other payments made by the Councils. It is particularly useful for appointeeships, where a carer spends benefit money on behalf of the claimant and Direct Payment programmes.
APS has been rapidly gaining market share over the traditionally dominant suppliers of payment services and has already been successful in loading over £50 million in government money on Cashplus Accounts providing growing importance of APS in this sector. The Cashplus Account has a number of advantages for councils, including better security, more control and more transparent auditing of what is actually being spent. The account also eliminates cumbersome manual processes, making it a low-cost and effective way to manage payments.
There are also significant benefits for users of the Cashplus Account. Out of the 8 million households that receive benefits, up to 1.3 million don’t have a bank account that can manage transactions such as Direct Debit. The Cashplus Account will give these people access to these facilities without them having to set up a traditional bank account.
Financial Services Manager at Lancashire County Council, Andy Brown, has been involved since day one of their prepaid programmes and never lost sight of the benefits that Prepaid cards would offer, even though there were many teething troubles first time around, “Our initial scheme provider just didn’t have a product which suited our needs, it was more off-the shelf and couldn't provide functionality to manage the requirements of direct payments. However, valuable lessons were learned and the choice of providers in the market is much better today. There appear to be a number of smaller companies, such as APS who are more flexible in working with you to design what’s right for your situation”.
Richard Wagner, CEO of APS, explained; "Councils have been quick to sign up for the Cashplus Account as the advantages over traditional methods are clear. We have a major pipeline of other interested Local Authorities and expect many more councils to follow.”
Source of Statistics: The Universal Credit Whitepaper, DWP
Notes to editors
About Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS) and Cashplus
Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS) is one of Europe’s most innovative payment solutions companies. APS facilitate payments for both consumers and businesses and, working with the Co-operative Bank, support payment solutions for local government councils throughout the UK.
APS is the most awarded prepaid solutions provider in Europe and one of the most successful prepaid card businesses, with over 1,000,000 (one million) Cashplus cards issued and more than £1,000,000,000 (£1billion) in payments processed.
APS continue to lead the market to meet the challenging needs of its growing base of clients and customers. Cashplus allows customers to choose from a range of different prepaid, credit and bill payment accounts. Payment solutions include the facilitation of bill payments, direct debits, foreign currency exchange, faster payments, short-term fixed loans and virtual (e-bank) accounts.
Cashplus already offers payment solutions to over 10,000 businesses including business accounts, expense management, fuel cards, and travel accounts across public and private sector organisations in the UK.
Local authorities are provided with effective payment solutions for claimants without bank accounts reducing the risk of fraud. APS already provides large scale card payment disbursement solutions to more than 10% of all local authorities in England and Wales.
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