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New Carers Credit Card

Article from Katie Morley, Consumer Affairs Editor, The Telegraph, 12 June 2017

Carers looking after elderly friends or relatives will soon be able to use "carers cards" to buy groceries and pay bills without being accused of fraud. 

For the first time they will be provided with debit cards with separate PINs, so they do not have to ask for details which would allow them to steal money. 

The cards will come with the ability to limit exactly how and where money can be spent, reducing the opportunity for payments to be questioned as "rogue".

Barclays, which will offer the cards from next year, is attempting to reduce the potential for financial harm caused by carers' current lack of rights within the banking system.

Around seven million people in the UK are caring for someone who is elderly or disabled.

At present it does do not allow casual use of debit cards by carers unless they have full power of attorney, a special right which can be expensive to obtain and often requires the involvement of a solicitor.

Despite this over half of Britain's 7 million unpaid carers know the bank card PINs of the person they are looking after, research by Money and Mental Health Policy Institute shows. 

The move represents a victory for the Institute, which has campaigned for carers to be granted the right to use other people's cards to buy them essentials, including supermarket shopping, prescriptions and household bills. 

Barclays will launch the new system in two phases starting this summer, when it will introduce the ability for customers to block certain goods and services such as gambling websites and certain shops. 

By next year it is planning to introduce the new cards, which can be limited to use in certain shops with spending constrained to certain budgets