Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank is launching a pre-paid Visa payment card designed for public sector organisations that can be used to deliver welfare payments.
The bank says it will offer the pre-paid chip and PIN-enabled in association with MoneyCard Limited.
The card does not require the recipient to have a bank account and can be used to deliver direct payments, such as benefits and pensions payments. The card can be used like a regular debit card at retail outlets displaying the Visa sign, at ATMs and for making purchases over the Internet.
Stewart Fraser, director of pre-paid cards, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, says: "The pre-paid card offers a really effective money distribution solution by replacing the uncertainties of cash, cheques or paper methods with a controlled and easy to administer system."
Once funded by the public sector department responsible, the pre-paid cards can be used for transactions for up to three years or until the allocated funds are exhausted.
Last year A&L lanuched a pre-paid plastic payment card that its commercial clients can use to replace paper-based payments.