Milan picks Soldo’s prepaid cards to distribute coronavirus aid
Soldo, a UK-based fintech which delivers prepaid cards and automated expenses to businesses, has teamed up with Italy’s government in Milan to issue ‘Soldo Care’ cards to Italian citizens amid coronavirus.
The smart payment cards are loaded with money from Italy’s €400 million Solidarity Fund which was set up to support those financially vulnerable during the outbreak.
The cards can be used immediately at any merchant which accepts MasterCard payments. The cards can be reloaded remotely if required, replacing traditional forms of aid such as paper-based food stamps.
All funds stored on the card will remain under the control of Milan’s government until they are transferred to a merchant.
The Municipality of Milan – which governs roughly 1.3 million citizens – is the first authority to adopt Soldo’s cards. The cards are designed to help governments, local authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) get coronavirus aid packages out to vulnerable people faster.
The 2015-founded fintech says a further 21 Italian authorities have signed up to use the cards for distributing emergency aid in their regions. So far, Soldo calculates that roughly 20,000 families will benefit from the cards.
“Italy was the first European country to enter a state of emergency, and with offices in Milan, we at Soldo experienced the societal impact first-hand,” says Soldo’s CEO Carlo Gualandri.
“Traditional food stamps and regular prepaid cards are often too slow and cumbersome to be effective during a crisis such as this.”
Soldo has also formed partnerships over the years with charity Age UK and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), powering their spend management platforms.