This is a slick marketing operation to make money off the poorest people, disgusting. Given how much the govt. bailed out the banks and in fact own one they could have put into place regulations that mean people on benefits get free banking, of course they didn’t which tells its own story (even as neoliberalism is being proven not to work).(ht2 The Socialist Way)
People in some of the poorest parts of the country are having benefits paid onto pre-paid cards, but many are not aware of the costs involved. An internal e-mail from the Department for Work and Pensions expresses concern at the lack of customer awareness. One benefit office has received requests to pay benefits for almost 100 people directly onto these pre-paid cards, which incur charges.
The card providers say the cards promote financial inclusion. However when staff at the Clyde and Fife Benefits Delivery Centre contacted customers before processing the requests, they found that the majority of customers were not aware of the charges.
One of the companies mentioned in the e-mail sent 46 applications to the benefit office requesting benefits to be paid on to a GO: Card. The forms were accompanied by a letter from Go Money Solutions sales director, Steve Tobin. In the letter Mr Tobin says the forms were obtained “through face to face marketing” in the local area.
A GO: Card costs £10 to buy and a £7.50 annual management fee is charged after the first month. It costs a minimum of £1.25 and a maximum of £2.50 to have each benefit loaded on to the card and the same charges apply for each cash withdrawal.