Payments innovator, Contis, has today launched its ‘Carer Retail’ proposition. Helping supermarkets and other retailers support the 8 million elderly and vulnerable shoppers in the UK, and many more across Europe, who are likely to shield even after lockdown is lifted.
Instead of risking shopping themselves, customers will be able to apply for a pre-paid account through a retailer’s website. They will nominate a carer via email, who will receive a virtual and physical branded card to shop on behalf of the vulnerable person. The original customer retains full control, can load funds, freeze cards and monitor transactions all from the safety of their home. This solution also eliminates the need to handle cash or disclose personal details like card numbers or PINs.
For the retailer, this product is an opportunity to retain and win new customers by creating a frictionless and less risky shopping experience for the vulnerable. With many retailers already in the fintech space, this is an opportunity to add a unique product that differentiates the brand in a crowded market. Or, there may be an opportunity to replace and upgrade an existing gift card programme which many retailers have coopted to solve the problem faced by vulnerable shoppers. Card programmes can also be added to existing reward schemes or limited to specific merchants.
Andy Patton, Chief Commercial Officer at Contis, said: “transaction levels on our platform are up, with supermarkets seeing the biggest increases in spend. With innovations like ‘Carer Retail’, any retailer can now be a fintech – bringing wider and more innovative card services to market, helping retain and win customers while supporting the vulnerable.”
This new solution is part of “Contis Cares“. Over the past three months, Contis has diverted its significant development resource to tackle Covid-related issues and is now formalising its commitment to the most vulnerable in society. It is guided by a long-term social mission to:
- Help vulnerable people make quick and safe purchases
- Provide access to capital for those most in need
- Ensure ALL of society can benefit from secure digital banking
Additional ‘Contis Cares’ products include ‘carer banking’, credit-union instant loans and a bolt-on lending platform is currently in development to help ease the imminent credit crisis.