GOVAN are setting up Yordex prepaid cards to get payments to destitute clients.

Organisation Profile

How many people do you give destitution payments to each month?

Regularly around 30 - 40 however less at the moment due to individuals moving onto Section 4 or Covid-19 ‘Everyone Inside’ policy change. As well as payments we give in-kind destitution support of food/foodbank vouchers.

How do you decide who gets payments?

We identify need and then apply to the Refugee Survival Trust who make the decision. On occasion, at our own discretion, we may make an emergency payment for accommodation assessed on the level of need and risk. For example, if someone presents late on a Friday and has not yet claimed asylum, we have on occasion paid for weekend accommodation until the claim can be made on a Monday. 

How did you make destitution payments before Covid-19?

We made payments by cash, which community members came to our office to collect.

How do you make payments now?

We have signed up for Yordex cards, through NACCOM, and will now be making payments with these. 

What made you choose this method?

During Covid-19, cash handling has infection control risks and would also demand lots of extra resource from our team to make deliveries, as we wouldn't post cash.  The cards will allow community members to make contactless payments - reducing contamination risk, and give much more choice and dignity than vouchers (many supermarket vouchers can’t be used to buy phone top-ups). 

What challenges have you encountered?

This is a slower process for getting payments to people as cards need to first be sent to our address and then posted out to community members, so they do not receive the money the day that the RST grant is approved. We will now apply for the cards the same day the grant is submitted so the card reaches us a bit quicker.

The card activation process may be challenging for non-English speakers. If card recipients do not have an email address they cannot log in to their account to change their pin number.

Might you stick with this method going forward?

Yes as it reduces staff time spent on bank visits for cash and means those in receipt of the funds do not have to spend money travelling to collect the payment.  

What feedback have you got from clients?

We are only just starting to issue the cards so too early to say. 

What practical advice would you give to other organisations?

Be aware if applying to Yordex there will be a delay with diligence checks so make sure you have ID and proof of address in advance for key authority figures, e.g. CEO and Chairperson as this will be requested once they start the checking process.

How do you get funding for Destitution Payments?

Grants from Refugee Survival Trust and independent fundraising.