Cashless advocates and prepaid payments company, B4B Payments is lending its technological weight to The Salvation Army in the vital work to support recovering victims of modern slavery, by working with the organisation on cashless payment technology.
The Fintech organisation, which is a fast-growing player in the prepaid card industry for over 14 years, is helping The Salvation Army to roll out its prepaid cards among victims of modern slavery for whom cash is an insecure method of payment. The rapid introduction of this new technology is one of many measures The Salvation Army and its partners have initiated with support from the Home Office to adapt the way support is provided to victims of modern slavery in its care. The use of prepaid cards enables The Salvation Army to minimise face to face contact during the coronavirus pandemic in delivering subsistence payments to which victims of modern slavery are entitled under the Government contract through which The Salvation Army provides vital support to help them begin their journey of recovery.
Modern slavery is a problem which is still surprisingly prevalent around the world. Since 2011, The Salvation Army has supported more than 10,000 victims of modern slavery. In 2019, 46% of potential victims who entered support were referred from London. It is estimated that one in two hundred people around the world is a slave, victims of all manner of exploitation hidden in plain sight in farms, factories and car washes and forced to work in the sex industry and even criminal activities such as drug smuggling.
Thanks to their amazing work in Britain and around the world, The Salvation Army is helping victims of modern slavery to begin new lives living independently when they are rescued from their captors, supporting the work undertaken through the Government contract with additional support programmes through our own charitable funds.
By partnering with B4B Payments, The Salvation Army is able to give the people it helps a prepaid Mastercard®. This means that staff can give the victim all the money that they are entitled to at once without fear that they will be targeted, and it works as a viable alternative to cash. Users are also able to make cashless payments online using this method, just like a traditional bank card, so they can more easily access Government services or pay for things from home if they have a disability or restricted by social distancing measures.
Major Kathy, Betteridge, Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery for The Salvation Army said “Even in these challenging times with coronavirus, The Salvation Army and our partners are doing all we can so that victims have the best care possible, to keep them safe and help them continue their recovery.
Bringing forward the roll out of prepaid cards has been one of the key adaptations we’ve successfully introduced in recent weeks to help survivors of slavery as they not only begin to live independently but also supporting them to do this within Government guidelines, to protect them from infection.
The Salvation Army’s Victim Care Fund has made a contribution of £20,000 from its charitable resources to make sure we could get the prepaid cards to the vulnerable people in our care as quickly as possible.
We recognise the extraordinary demands on our staff, volunteers and partners, and want to thank them all, along with suppliers like B4B Payments, for stepping up in their rapid response to a fast-moving situation which has been exceptional and deserves commendation.”
B4B Payments CEO Paul Swinton said: “It has been hugely rewarding to provide our services to The Salvation Army because they’re tackling some of the biggest social problems in the world today. Financial inclusion is an issue that cuts across so many different areas including Modern Slavery, domestic abuse, people trafficking and homelessness, and it is vital that we as a financial technology company do our bit to innovate and help the less fortunate.”