Why We Introduced The Carers Shopping Card in 2012

23rd April 2017

The Money Carer Card

As an organisation that manages the finances of vulnerable adults across the UK we realised that whilst we were very skilled at paying bills, making decisions in the best interest of our clients and generally supporting and protecting the people under our care, in one area, we felt we fell short.

How do we go about getting shopping money to the carers of our clients in a convenient, safe and robust way that would overcome the complexities of dealing with carers who call in sick, go on holiday or change jobs just like the rest of us?

After many months of research and even more business meetings we developed the Carers Shopping Card system with our partner bank. This project solved our problem as soon as we started to incorporate the process into our internal systems and we havent looked back since. The success of our carers card system revolves around the fact that we can open a purposely developed bank account that enables us to distribute carers cards to nominated carers in their own name with their own unique PIN number. This isolates each carers card and brings all transactions into a robust audit trail which provides greater protection to the vulnerable person and also the carers that support them with shopping tasks.

Greater Protection Via Our 'Monika' Software 

In 2017 the decision was made to add a greater level of protection to our carers card service by monitoring the transactions made on our carers card using our proprietary Monika software. Monika scans the transactions made on each card account and not only provides 'high' or 'low' balance alerts that can be set up individually for each account but also monitors for unusual spending behavior or suspicious transactions. 

An example of this might be a transaction alert for a purchase made using a carers card in a ladies lingerie shop or an online betting outlet when the vulnerable client is a elderly gentleman in their 90's. Equally, if Monika presented an alert of several cash withdrawal transactions being made within a short period of time then this may be a suitable prompt to make further investigations if this transaction behaviour did not fit into the selected 'profile' of a particular client.

Supporting Solicitors

As a national social enterprise, The Money Carer Foundation has an organisational remit of supporting and protecting our own clients whilst opening up our expertise and innovations to other organisations (or individuals) that support vulnerable adults in the UK. As such, over the years, we have been approached by many law firms who also provides services to vulnerable adults. Typically, this is when a Solicitor is providing Court of Protection Deputyship services or the Solicitor has taken on the role of LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) and is faced with the same problems that we were faced with before developing the carers shopping card system i.e. How does the Solicitor get shopping money to carers in a secure and robust way? 

After arranging all of the necessary legal requirments with our banking partner The Money Carer Foundation opened up the caers shopping card system to Solicitors in 2014 and we support a rapidly growing database of law firms to this effect accordingly.




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