European payments disruptor, Contis, has today launched ‘Contis Cares’. This new programme is developing long-term solutions for the most vulnerable while society adapts to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spearheading the launch is ‘Carer Banking’ aimed at supporting UK and European populations that will likely continue to shield, unable to shop for themselves, even after lockdown has eased.

According to a recent UCL study, in the UK alone, 8 million people are vulnerable due to conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart problems and will need shielding for an indefinite period of time.

Carer Banking allows nominated carers to safely purchase goods and supplies for the vulnerable in a fully controlled, compliant and effective manner – with extremely low financial and physical risk.

Emergency workarounds have been created by banks, fintechs and retailers but many are not fit for purpose. A comprehensive solution is needed as 52% of carers know a vulnerable person’s PIN; 27% have used the other person’s contactless card and 23% know their online banking password (Money and Mental Health Policy Institute).

With a long history in addressing social exclusion, Contis now serves over 150 credit union and community banking clients. The growth fintech has once again innovated in a space that is often overlooked by neo and legacy banks. This new solution enables banks, building societies and other financial institutions to offer their customers more choice and protection.

So, how is ‘Carer Banking’ different to those already in market?

  1. No physical contact – Existing workarounds require posting a second card to the customer’s address, requiring a physical handover. However, Contis’ unique approach allows nominated carers to complete an online identity check (KYC) and order the card to their own address if required – safe and secure.
  2. Instant purchases – Physical cards can also be connected to a virtual card for online and mobile contactless payments. Nominated carers can start purchasing immediately, rather than waiting for a posted card.
  3. Fully compliant & secure – With email nomination and an online sign up process, there is no risk of sharing confidential information or unnecessary physical interactions.
  4. Full transparency and control – The programme can be set up with merchant controls, instant card freeze and spend limits as well as transaction monitoring enabled by Contis’ skinnable mobile app.

Andy Patton, Chief Commercial Officer at Contis, said: “We’re helping clients adapt their businesses to the new economy as their customers’ needs change. Our new products help companies get funds safely to those in need and support vulnerable customers to shop and pay for essentials.”

This ground-breaking solution is a result of the “Contis Cares” initiative. Over the past two months, Contis has diverted its significant development resource to tackle Covid-related issues and is now formalising its commitment to the most vulnerable in society. It is guided by a long-term social mission to:

  • Provide access to capital for those most in need
  • Help vulnerable people make quick and safe purchases
  • Ensure ALL of society can benefit from secure digital banking

Additional ‘Contis Cares’ products currently in development include a bolt-on lending platform to help ease the imminent credit crisis and a retail scheme for vulnerable shoppers