Residents of the island of Jersey can now make contactless payments to local businesses using a prepaid card that is being sent to all eligible citizens as part of a fiscal stimulus package designed to alleviate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Residents receive their Spend Local Card with an initial balance of £100 (US$129) which they can spend in local retailers, restaurants and cafes, hotels and guest houses and for services including car valeting, gardening, beauty treatments and sporting activities.
The Spend Local Card has been introduced by the Government of Jersey to support island businesses. It can be used only at physical payment locations on the island itself or with local businesses that accept telephone payments. It cannot be used for online shopping or restricted activities such as gambling.
The card is valid until 31 October, when any unspent balance will expire. Cardholders are advised, however, “to retain their prepaid card in the event of a top-up payment in the future,” Mastercard, which developed the Spend Local Card with payments solutions provider PFS, says.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has had a real impact on businesses, and governments around the world are looking for ways to stimulate their economies,” says Mastercard’s Kelly Devine.
“This innovative solution offers a real alternative to stimulus packages delivered through local tax or benefits systems, giving greater precision for the spending of the funds.
“Authorities can target where, when and exactly how much can be spent, and as in the case of the Government of Jersey, focus all of the benefit on the island’s community.”