UK govt tests use of distributed ledger tech to help benefit claimants track spending

UK govt tests use of distributed ledger tech to help benefit claimants track spending

The UK government is trialling the use of distributed ledger technology and a mobile app to help welfare claimants track what they are spending their benefit payments on.

The proof-of-concept, which kicked off last month in the North West of England with a tiny group of volunteers, sees claimants use a mobile app to receive and spend their benefit money.

Then, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister Lord Freud told the Payments Innovation conference this week, with claimants' consent "their transactions are being recorded on a distributed ledger to support their financial management".

The DWP is working with fintech outfit GovCoin, Barclays, energy utility RWE npower and University College London on the trial.

GovCoin stresses that the transaction data tracked by the DLT is not seen by the government, but feeds back into the app so that claimants can see their available funds and monitor and allocate their spending to "jars".

Jeremy Wilson, vice chairman, corporate banking, Barclays, says: "This initiative focuses on adding an additional layer of richer data and identity onto payments, so that a deeper and more effective relationship can be established between the government and claimants."

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