Red Cross provides prepaid service to support refugees

Source: Prepaid Financial Services

Global humanitarian and aid organisation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has selected Prepaid Financial Services Limited (PFS) to provide a cashless management solution for refugees in Greece.

PFS, an established e-money issuer and alternative banking provider with an extensive background in financial solutions for the unbanked, is acting as the issuer of prepaid cards to target beneficiaries under the Hellenic Red Cross and IFRC Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) for people seeking asylum in Greece.

Due to the mass influx of refugees arriving in Greece, IFRC required a solution that offered refugees a secure and efficient way of receiving and managing money. It also needed to be deployed quickly and to allow IFRC to audit how the money was being spent.

The bespoke PFS prepaid card can only be used in Greece, and there are some restrictions on certain merchant category codes to ensure the money is used for the purpose of aid. Since the programme launched, cards have been issued to more than 4,250 people.

Noel Moran, CEO, Prepaid Financial Services said: “The prepaid cards allow refugees to make purchases for food and other essential items in a secure and dignified manner, as the cards look like any other credit or debit card. Importantly, as the card removes the need for refugees to carry large sums of cash, they are therefore less likely to be a target for criminals.

”PFS is incredibly proud to be able to support IFRC as we have other National Governments and charities that distribute aid via prepaid programmes across Europe in the wake of the ongoing migrant crisis. Our latest partnership with IFRC demonstrates that prepaid continues to be an effective and efficient method of distributing funds to those who are most vulnerable.”

Ruben Cano, Head of Country Officer, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said: “More than 60,000 people remain stranded in Greece, and in the North, many of them have survived the winter in tented accommodation, in areas where temperatures frequently fall below zero. It was therefore vital that IFRC found a secure method of disbursing funds to help refugees access basic provisions like food and warm clothing.

“The monitoring and reporting functionality of the programme has also been very important to us, because as a charity we have to demonstrate accountability. Not only that but being able to see where money is being spent, is also critical in helping us develop our future aid strategy.”

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