Ramp up required to meet four week £100 cash card target

The first batch of £100 Spend Local cards have been issued.

THE Department for the Economy (DfE) faces a significant ramp up in the Spend Local scheme to meet its target of issuing one million £100 cash cards within the next four weeks.

It’s understood that just 100,000 will be issued in the first week of the two-month scheme.

Around 1.4 million adults in Northern Ireland are eligible for the £145m economic initiative.

DfE said on Monday that one million people had already submitted their application since the online portal opened on September 27.

A spokesperson said the department still expects that every one of them will have a £100 card during October.

That would meet with DfE’s plan to give everyone at least four weeks to spend their £100 before the deadline of November 30, when all cards will be de-activated regardless of the remaining balance.

But reaching that goal would require at least 300,000 cards being issued in each of the next three weeks just to reach the one million mark.

That rises to around 430,000 cards per week if 1.4 million adults are to enjoy four weeks to spend their £100 before the deadline.

London-based Pre-Paid Financial Services is responsible for providing the cards.

The Department for the Economy awarded the company the £2.4m contract on July 15 2021.

A spokesperson for the department said yesterday: “It is planned that 100,000 cards will be issued to applicants this week and the department is currently working to finalise the numbers to be issued next week.

“Whilst it is not possible to be specific about the number of cards to be issued each week, the department is still expecting that all successful applicants will have received their cards during the next four weeks.”

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