Prepaid cards are serving a new purpose in a pandemic-struck world. Charity organizations and local governments around the world are using prepaid cards to efficiently disburse financial aid and emergency funding to help people affected by floods or pandemics. For instance, in August 2020, the British Red Cross partnered with Paysafe and Bankable to offer Visa-enabled prepaid cards for those affected by Covid-19 in the region. The prepaid cards were loaded with an amount defined by the charity organization, allowing the recipients to use the card at any point of sale or ATMs.
In October 2020, a non-profit organization in the United States, Gift Card Bank, partnered with Excella to develop an online platform for supporting Covid-19 affected families. Gift Card Bank collects unused gift cards from individuals, grocers, retailers, and philanthropists and then distributes the gift cards as charity to the most vulnerable people. Each year, US$2 billion to US$4 billion worth of gift card money is going unused. Consequently, such innovation in the prepaid card industry is offering support to the most vulnerable group of people in times of the global pandemic.
Along with families, small and medium-sized businesses have also been affected by the onset of the global pandemic. To provide support for such SMEs, specifically restaurants, businesses are launching prepaid crowdfunding cards. For instance, helpmainstreet.com, the crowdfunding platform in the United States, allows consumers to buy gift cards for restaurants and other retailers in the region, which they can use later. The gift card purchases enable SMEs to keep their operations going in times of the global pandemic.
In February 2020, the Herefordshire Community Foundation, another UK-based charity organization, partnered with Allpay Limited to distribute prepaid charity cards. These prepaid cards were provided to anyone whose property was affected by the floods in Herefordshire. As of February 2020, the charity organization received over £30,000 in donations, which the foundation distributed through prepaid charity cards.
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