PFS Issues Prepaid Mastercard for Refugees in Greece
To improve the plight of refugees in Greece, Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) has partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian international relief organization, to launch a financial aid program in which funds are being disbursed via a Mastercard-branded prepaid card. U.K.-based payments technology provider PFS is issuing the cards.
The prepaid card program is providing a secure way of distributing funds and enabling refugees to purchase what they need at local stores or access cash at ATMs “in a dignified way that supports resilience,” according to the announcement. More than a million people have fled Syria, Iraq and other unstable countries in the region, and as more countries close their borders, 50,000-plus refugees are stuck in makeshift camps in Greece that lack food, water and other necessities, according to the Samaritan’s Purse Website.
“As the migrant crisis in Europe continues, PFS is pleased to provide a solution that will help Samaritan’s Purse manage fund disbursements, while also supporting financial inclusion, and giving financial stability to refugees and asylum seekers,” said PFS CEO Noel Moran. “Although the scheme has rolled out very recently, we are confident that this new method of distributing funds will alleviate pressure on Samaritan’s Purse, letting them focus on continuing to improve conditions and support people in camps.” PFS also has launched prepaid card programs for immigration processing centers in the EU to help distribute funds to people seeking asylum.
Prepaid card providers have played a key role in assisting with humanitarian efforts. Mastercard announced last April it was teaming up with World Vision International, a relief organization, to deliver humanitarian aid assistance using electronic payment technologies, including the Pay Award-winning Mastercard Aid Network. And, in May, Mastercard announced the launch of Mastercard Humanitarian Aid Solutions, which combines Mastercard Aid Network, Mastercard Send money transfers, and the network’s prepaid capabilities and financial services partnerships to offer faster access to aid, including digital cash and vouchers.
Oxfam, a consortium of humanitarian organizations, along with Visa, i2c and UnionBank last year worked together to create the Electronic Prepaid Solution Project, a platform that addresses the challenges in humanitarian cash transfer programs. The program included the Oxfam Visa Prepaid Card.