One week left to apply for Spend Local cards

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today urged those who have not yet applied for their Spend Local card to do so as soon as possible.

The online portal and the accompanying telephone service will close on Monday, October 25. After this date, it will no longer be possible to apply for the £ 100 prepaid Spend Local card.

With only a week to apply, the minister said: “The response to the High Street Scheme has been magnificent and our retail, hospitality and service industries are now starting to feel the benefits of the additional spending it brings. Within days of the portal closing, around 90% of eligible people applied for their Spend Local card.

“I am appealing to people who have not yet applied for their £ 100 Spend Local prepaid card to do so now through the online portal at nidirect.

“By applying for, receiving and spending your card, you will be supporting your local stores, hotels and other services that have been most affected by the economic impact of Covid-19. “

When an applicant receives their card, they will need to verify the card through a computerized phone system or text message and make the first payment using a personal identification number (PIN), before they can begin payment. use for contactless payments.

Spend Local Cards can be used at all participating businesses in Northern Ireland until November 30. They cannot be used online or for gambling or certain financial and legal services.

The Minister concluded: “A few days before the portal closes, my message to those who have not yet applied for their Spend Local card is: apply now, spend locally.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The online portal will close at midnight on October 25th. The telephone service will close at 6 p.m. the same day

2. Applicants can register for the Spend Local card on the nidirect website.

3. Key dates for the deployment of the High Street Scheme:

  • September 27 to October 25 – Opening of the application portal.
  • Week starting October 4 – First tranche of cards issued to those who have successfully applied for the Spend Local Prepaid Card.
  • October 11 – Opening of the telephone service to take charge of applications from people who cannot access or use the online portal.
  • October 25 – The High Street Scheme online portal and telephone services closed.
  • October 25 – the last qualifying date for those reaching the age of 18 to be able to apply for a Spend Local card.
  • November 30 – High Street Scheme closes and Spend Local prepaid cards will cease to be valid.

4. For verification purposes to reduce the risk of fraud and error, each applicant will be asked to provide:

  • Name;
  • address;
  • age;
  • kind;
  • disability status;
  • national insurance number;
  • E-mail adress; and
  • phone number.
  • Applicants will also have the option of including a driver’s license number to enable verification. Once the applicant has completed the registration process, their information will be checked against a number of government databases to verify their identity.

5. The Department is required under section 75 to monitor the implementation of its policies, which includes collecting data on age, gender and disability.

6. When an applicant receives their card, they will need to verify the card through a computerized phone system or text message and make the first payment using a PIN code, before they can start using it for payments. without contact.

7. Cards can be used at all participating businesses in Northern Ireland. They cannot be used online or for gambling or certain financial and legal services.

8. The helpline opened on October 11th. The late opening of the phone service was implemented to encourage more people to apply online when the portal opens on September 27 and to avoid using the phone line by leaving it available for those who have not. access or cannot use the Internet.

9. The Department’s Economic Recovery Action Plan is available on the Department’s website.

10. The Department may take photos and videos at announcements and events to publicize its work. Photographs, interviews, videos, or other recordings may be given to media organizations for advertising purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, at radio and electronic media (including social media and the Internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored in the Ministry’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings longer than necessary for the purposes for which they were obtained. The Ministry’s privacy policy is available on our website.

11. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI.

12. For media inquiries, contact the press office of the Department of Economics at [email protected]

13. The Executive Information Service manages a service outside opening hours. for media inquiries only between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. Monday to Friday and weekends and holidays. The permanent press attaché can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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