29th January 2013, 08:30AM

The Power of Prepaid considers the advantages but also the practicalities of the use of prepaid cards, which are already used in 25 per cent of local authorities, mainly to distribute direct payments in social care. It explores how the increased popularity of this payment method is due to the reduced administration costs and improved security, but also due to the fact that spending can be monitored in real time – removing the need for receipts and regular auditing. The report also thinks about the bigger picture: prepaid cards are the predominant means of distributing welfare in the US, and the report discusses what we might learn from the US in the run up to the launch of the Universal Credit. 

We are delighted to be joined by

Debbie Abrahams MP, Chair of the Labour Parliamentary Health Committee and Member of the Department of Work and Pensions Committee

Stephen Brien, Special Adviser to Iain Duncan Smith MP on Universal Credit

Steve Shirley, Head of Public Sector, MasterCard UK and Ireland

Sarah Neville, Public Policy Editor, the Financial Times (Chair)

The report's author, Demos Deputy Director Claudia Wood, will present the report's findings.

This timely debate will discuss how prepaid cards could be an important way for those without bank accounts to receive benefits, but also how different benefit pots might be integrated with personal budgets, and even how prepaid cards could be used to encourage savings among those claiming benefits. This event will be the first time the pros and cons of prepaid technology – the use of which has been steadily increasing in local authorities across the country – will be debated in the context of direct payments and welfare reform. 

This private breakfast roundtable will be held from 8:30-9:30am on Tuesday 29 January 2013 in Westminster. To request a place, please email or call 02073676331 with any access queries. 

This project is kindly supported by MasterCard.

Related projects