Western Union and Moat Housing Association pilot prepaid card for Universal Credit

Piloting a prepaid card.

Western Union is piloting a prepaid card in association with Moat Housing Association that allows the latter’s tenants to receive their housing benefit under the incoming UK Universal Credit scheme.

Launching 2014, the UK Universal Credit initiative is a government project intended to simplify welfare support into a single payment. It orders electronic e-banking capabilities for recipients and involves a number of procedural and technology changes in the UK government and payment industry sectors.

The Western Union trial with Moat Housing Association in the southeast of England is part of a wider pilot running until the end of the year to evaluate the role of prepaid cards in supporting automatic rent payments.

The cards allow Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) to automatically draw money from a tenant’s card, preventing rent arrears and giving both tenants and the housing association a record that the rent has been paid. Once the rent has been paid to the landlord, the cards can be used to pay for goods and services wherever MasterCard is accepted.

“This prepaid card enables tenants and landlords to conduct transactions securely and with minimum fuss”, said Fiona Duncan, vice president of prepaid at Western Union for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region. “We have seen a successful start to the pilot programme and look forward to developing our offering further in this area, supporting tenants and landlords and helping them work together.”

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