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Direct Payments Card


Direct Payments Cards are a flexible, fast and convenient way for you to manage your Direct Payments.

There is no need to open your own separate bank account, as we will open a Direct Payments (DP) Card Account on your behalf and arrange for your Direct Payments funding to be paid into this account in line with the council's payment schedule.

Benefits of using a Direct Payments Card

  • We make all the arrangements for issuing your card and for adding the money from your Personal Budget onto the card.
  • Direct Payments Cards are a flexible, fast and convenient way to manage your Direct Payments.
  • You don't need to open a separate bank account.
  • A card can be issued in days.
  • You cannot go overdrawn or get into debt when using a Direct Payments Card.
  • Less paperwork and record keeping.
  • Pay in person using chip and PIN.
  • Set up direct debits and standing orders.
  • Pay for services by telephone or on the internet.
  • It's easy checking and managing balances on the internet or over the phone.

How to apply

Your social worker or care coordinator can give you information on how to apply.

How to use the card

DP Card Accounts are issued by Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) on behalf of the council. You will be issued with a card for your account, which you will need to activate on receipt. A DP Card Account can be used in the same manner as a regular bank account, to pay for services to meet your needs as identified in your Care and Support Plan.

You can make payments using your card, online via the PFS customer portal or by calling the PFS customer service number. You can also set up regular standing orders and direct debits from the account. Each time you make a payment or use your card, the amount will be debited from your available balance. You will only be able to make purchases if there are enough funds available in your DP Card Account.

Should you need to pay money into your DP Card Account, this can be done online using the PFS website. Alternatively, you can also load funds at your local post office or an approved retailer. Details of these retailers and other ways to pay money into the account can be found in the 'Load Funds' section of the PFS website.

As our Direct Payments team can access DP Card Accounts directly, there is no requirement for you to provide bank statements for audits. However, you must still retain evidence of expenditure from the account and provide this when requested (see Auditing your Direct Payments).

Useful contacts for Prepaid Financial Services (PFS):

Please note the council reserves the right to charge for replacement cards.

The Direct Payments team will provide ongoing support and advice to assist you with managing your Direct Payments. You can contact us by email directpayments@durham.gov.uk or telephone 03000 268 200.

    Contact us
    Direct Payments
    03000 268 200
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