World’s first card-based stimulus scheme launched to tackle economic impact of COVID-19

September 11, 2020 | London, UK | By Suman Hughes
    • Mastercard and PFS partner with the Government of Jersey on the Spend Local cards
    • Every Jersey resident will receive a £100 Spend Local pre-paid Mastercard
    • Innovative approach paves the way for future stimulus schemes

Mastercard and PFS (a company of EML) have partnered with the Government of Jersey to develop the World’s first card-based stimulus scheme.

From today onwards, all eligible citizens in Jersey will be posted their own £100 PFS and Mastercard powered Spend Local Card that they can use in businesses across the island until midnight on October 31st, 2020. After that date, cardholders are being advised to retain their prepaid card in the event of a top-up type payment in the future. This forms part of the government's overall £150 million fiscal stimulus package to help alleviate the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

Kelly Devine, Division President, Mastercard UK & Ireland commented: “The Covid-19 outbreak has had a real impact on businesses, and Governments around the world are looking for ways to stimulate their economies. This innovative solution offers a real alternative to stimulus packages delivered through local tax or benefits systems, giving greater precision for the spending of the funds. Authorities can target where, when and exactly how much can be spent, and as in the case of the Government of Jersey, focus all of the benefit on the Island’s community.”

“We've enjoyed bringing a fresh thinking FinTech solution to life for families on the beautiful island of Jersey. The government's island-centric, spend local aspirations aligned perfectly with our payment solutions suite. We look forward to working closely with the Jersey Government to ensure a successful Spend Local Cards programme and possible future financial technology collaborations,’’ said Lee Britton, CCO at PFS (a company of EML).

The Spend Local card has been designed to give individuals flexibility on how they spend their money. This means that the card can be used in almost any local business in Jersey, including:

  • In shops, boutiques and retail outlets
  • In restaurants and cafes
  • In hotels and guest houses
  • For services: for example, car valeting, personal training, gardening, hairdressing or beauty treatments
  • To pay for sporting activities and experiences

The targeted approach being taken to support Jersey’s local businesses means cards must be used at physical payment locations on the island, rather for online shopping. In addition, cards will not be supported at businesses in the gambling sector.

‘’This scheme will give Islanders a positive way to support local businesses that have worked hard to adapt to the impact of COVID-19 and look after their customers in a safe way. The pandemic caused businesses across all sectors in Jersey to suffer. And while the Government has provided support through a range of measures, this scheme allows Islanders the opportunity to go out and treat themselves by supporting local Island businesses,'' stated Senator John Le Fondré, Chief Minister of Jersey.


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Suman Hughes