By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 22 April 2020
The fintech estimates that roughly 20,000 families could benefit from the cards.
UK-based fintech Soldo has today announced a partnership with Milan’s local government to hand out prepaid ‘Soldo Care’ cards to those in need.
Soldo, the business expense provider, hopes ‘Soldo Care’ cards will replace the need for more traditional forms of government support, such as paper food stamps.
The cards will have money loaded onto them remotely and will be accepted by shops that support Mastercard payments. It’s hoped they will speed up the process of aid distribution to financially vulnerable people.
Soldo Care cards will have predefined rules of how and where the cards can be used and funds will not be transferrable and will remain under the control of the Milanese government until used with supporting merchants.
Carlo Gualandri, CEO of Soldo, said: “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. Traditional food stamps and regular prepaid cards are often too slow and cumbersome to be effective during a crisis such as this.”
“Soldo’s infrastructure is agile enough to be rapidly adapted to the needs of local authorities. As the pandemic continues to unfold and hits other nations hard, we want to use our technology in every way possible to support authorities to assist those most in need,” he added.
Milan, which has a population of 1.3m, is the first Italian city to introduce Soldo’s prepaid cards, however, the fintech says another 21 local authorities have reportedly signed up to use the cards to help dish out coronavirus aid.
The collaboration is funded by the Italian Government’s €400m solidarity fund which was set up to help support the most financially vulnerable through the coronavirus crisis.
Soldo currently works with 450 charities in Italy, and 350 in the UK, offering these partners discounted access to prepaid cards to help them manage expenses and ensure funds are used correctly.