What is a Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account?
A Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account is like a current account from your bank. You can use the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account to pay for services that meet your assessed eligible social care needs, as outlined in your care and support plan. You will receive a payment card for your Direct Payments Prepaid Account. If a third party will be managing your Direct Payments on your behalf, the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account will also be available.
Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) provide the Direct Prepaid Card Account.
How does the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account work?
- Direct Payments are paid straight into the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account by Hampshire County Council on a monthly basis.
- There will be a Visa Debit Card attached to the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account.
- You can use the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account Card to pay for services:
- in person (using CHIP and PIN)
- by standing order or direct debit
- by bank transfer via the internet or telephone
- You can check account balances online or via the telephone. Paper statements are also available on request.
- The Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account will not have a cheque book.
The existing ways to receive Direct Payments are still available. These are by:
- opening a separate bank account or
- via the Banking Administration Service with Enham Trust (subject to eligibility and criteria).
Please speak to your social care practitioner if you need more information about your Direct Payments.
Using the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account
When can I start to use my Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account?
You will only be able to start to use your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account once your first payment of Direct Payments has been made. Your social care practitioner should be able to inform you when the first payment will be paid into your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account.
Before you can start to use your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account, you will receive all relevant information from Prepaid Financial Services (PFS). This will include:
- a welcome letter from Prepaid Financial Services (PFS)*
- your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account Card.
If you need this letter in an alternative format, eg easy read or large print, contact 0300 555 1386.
You will receive this information soon after your care and support plan has been agreed and Hampshire County Council has received your signed Direct Payments Agreement and your ID verification.
What should I do when I receive my Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account Card?
- Sign the back of your Direct Payments Prepaid Card.
- Your Direct Payments Prepaid Card comes with a letter. This explains how to get your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and how to activate your card.
You can manage your Direct Payment Prepaid Card Account online. PFS will provide details of how to log into your account.
You can make payments by telephone banking by calling PFS Customer Services:
- Numbers for card activation, PIN retrieval and balance check – Tel: 0203 327 1991
- Card Customer Service Team – Tel: 0203 948 4508
Please check with your landline or mobile provider as you may be charged for these calls in addition to any other charges incurred.
If you use an agency to find a carer to provide the service you need
You will need to ask for the agency's bank account details and sort code to enable you to make payments. You will still need to check the invoice the agency sends you is correct.
If you employ a Personal Assistant in Care yourself
You will need to ask for your personal assistant's bank account details and sort code to pay their wages.
You can check your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account balance by:
- using the online banking facility
Lost or stolen cards/suspected fraud
If you lose your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account Card or suspect it has been stolen, contact Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) immediately on 0203 948 4508.
You will not need to send Hampshire County Council financial statements. We can monitor your spend online. We will tell you when we need information about your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account.
You must keep invoices and receipts for all expenditure relating to your care. You must also keep all records about any personal assistants you may employ. You can upload these via your online account as supporting documents and they will be saved in your account.
Paying your assessed client contribution
If you have been advised that you need to contribute to the cost of your care, you should transfer this amount into your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account using the account number and sort code provided by PFS.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Direct Payment Prepaid Card?
It's like a debit card but it's loaded on a monthly basis by Hampshire County Council with your agreed Direct Payment amount.
You will only be able to make purchases with the card when there are sufficient funds on your Hampshire County Council Direct Payments Prepaid Card. You will not be able to spend more than this amount.
The Direct Payments Prepaid Card works like any other bank debit card. If you wish to buy a product or service you can use the card in person, over the internet or by using the telephone.
Does it have a credit limit?
No, it is not a credit card. You cannot spend more money than is held on the Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account.
How do I get help if I have questions about my card?
If you have questions related to your card call the PFS Customer Services team on 0203 948 4508.
Are there any fees for using my card?
There may be a small charge for replacement cards.
Can I change the PIN assigned to me?
Yes, you can change your PIN number.
I have forgotten my PIN number, what do I do?
If you have forgotten or lost your PIN, please call 0203 327 1991 and retrieve your PIN.
What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?
If your card has been lost or stolen, or you believe its security has been compromised, you must inform the PFS Customer Services team as soon as possible. Phone 0203 948 4508 during office hours.
How long will it take to replace the card?
It normally takes six working days but can take up to 12 working days depending on when it has been requested.
What happens if I change my address?
You must notify your allocated practitioner of your new address details. If you no longer have a practitioner, please contact Hampshire County Council online or phone 0300 555 1386 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
Hampshire County Council will then update your details, which can then be updated with Prepaid Financial Solutions (PFS).
Does my card ever expire?
Yes, you can find the expiry date on the front of your card. If you haven’t received your new card before it is about to expire, please contact your allocated practitioner. Or contact Hampshire County Council on 0300 555 1386 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or online.
Any balance remaining on the card will be transferred to the new one before it is dispatched to you.
What happens if I no longer want to use my prepaid card?
If you wish to cancel your prepaid card or no longer wish to use it then contact your allocated practitioner, or contact Hampshire County Council on 0300 555 1386 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or online.
Do not destroy the card.
You must surrender the PIN when you return the card.
What if the amount of my purchase is more than my available balance?
In this case, your purchase will be declined, and you must wait until the card has sufficient funds.
Is the card safe and secure to use?
As with all credit and debit cards you use, you must take every precaution to keep the card safe and your PIN secure. Please refer to the cardholder terms and conditions. The prepaid card aims to reduce the need to carry or hold large amounts of cash.
What if I have a problem?
Please call the PFS Customer Service Line on 0203 948 4508 if:
- you have a query about the card itself
- you have an unknown transaction on your card account or
- a transaction has been declined but you still have funds on your card account.
Can I withdraw cash using the prepaid card?
Yes, you can withdraw cash using your PIN at any ATM machine. Your practitioner will discuss this with you at your assessment if it will be necessary.
I have received my prepaid card, now what do I do?
Using the card is very simple. But before you start using the card you must follow these steps:
- sign the signature strip on the reverse of the card
- activate the pre-paid card and get your PIN by phoning 0203 327 1991.
Do I have to have a Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account?
No. You can use a separate bank account to receive payments if you prefer.
Will I have to pay to have a Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account?
No. Hampshire County Council set up the Prepaid Card Account with PFS. You will be able to use the Direct Payments Prepaid Card normally without any charges. Although there may be a small charge for replacement cards.
How will my Direct Payments be monitored?
Hampshire County Council will need to monitor the money paid to you as a Direct Payment and collate data for reports. Your social care practitioner will carry out some monitoring as part of a review. You can ask for a review at any time if things have changed for you. You must keep invoices and receipts for all expenditure relating to your care and keep details relating to payments for personal assistants. You can upload these to your online account as supporting documents.
What happens if there is money building up in my Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account?
Your social care practitioner will talk to you about returning money to Hampshire County Council and adjusting your Direct Payments if you have excess funds in your Direct Payments Prepaid Card Account. Or you can contact Hampshire County Council on 0300 555 1386 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or online.