Personal budgets

Direct Payments and Prepaid card accounts

What is a Direct Payment?

A Direct Payment is money that is paid to you (or someone acting on your behalf) by Kingston Council so you can arrange your own support. You will need to sign a Direct Payment agreement with Kingston Council that sets out the rules that you need to follow.

What is a prepaid card account?

A prepaid card account is a bank account arranged for you to receive the Direct Payment. It is just like a current account from your bank. 

Kingston Council will open this account for you and make payments straight into the bank account. It is kept separate from your personal accounts.

You can then use your card or online portal to pay for the support you need as set out in your support plan.

You can use the account to pay:

  • In person using chip and pin

  • By standing orders or direct debits

  • By bank transfers over the internet or telephone

  • Cash payments if agreed with RBK

  • You can check account balances and statements online, over the telephone or at a cash machine (ATM)

Benefits of a Direct Payment Prepaid card account

There are several benefits to using a prepaid card account:

  • You do not need to open a separate bank account or provide us with regular monitoring forms, receipts or invoices;

  • It is simpler to use than a traditional bank account;

  • You cannot go overdrawn or get into debt;

  • You can choose a trusted person to help you to manage the account if you would like support with this;

  • Any surplus can be returned to Kingston Council via a bank transfer as agreed with you;

  • You can use a smartphone, tablet or computer to have immediate access to your

  • Account

  • You will continue to get all the payroll support you need as this will not affect PayPacket.

  • More time to complete reviews of your support;

  • No credit checks.

Will I have to pay for a prepaid card?

You will not have to pay for your prepaid card and there are no fees or charges for using it to make payments for your support.

How do I receive a prepaid card account?

Contact your social care team to discuss your options and eligibility: 0208 547 5005. 

As soon as we have agreed this with you, you will receive the prepaid card by post to your home address, with a letter explaining how to activate your card. Please keep your card, passwords and PIN safe and don’t share it with anyone. You will also be sent information on what to do if your card is lost or stolen.

If you currently use Direct Payments and wish to receive a prepaid card, please discuss this with your social care worker who can advise and support you to get one.

Your social care worker may talk to you about having a prepaid card when they assess or review your support needs.

Please remember the prepaid card is not a credit card. You can only spend up to the amount loaded in line with your agreed support plan.

What can I use my prepaid card account for?

You can use your card to buy the support you need as set out in your support plan. This could include care from an agency, support services, or to make payments directly to your Personal Assistants.

You cannot use your card to pay for personal items such as clothes, food or gifts.

Prepaid card account security update.

Banks are required to introduce an additional layer of security to help prevent fraud on customers' accounts.This is an industry-wide change being introduced by Mastercard and Visa that all banks have to follow. 

 There will be some important security updates to prepaid card users in RBK available on our Providers website.