Introducing the Change Account - a step towards financial inclusion
For the past two years we have been working with a small group of like-minded organisations to set up a new style transactional account that might be of real benefit to people who become homeless, and who might be struggling to access to good quality financial services and products.
The Change Account has many of the benefits of a bank account, with its debit card, dedicated sort code and account number. But it is very much a new form of account, and the similarities end when you look into the range of innovations designed to simplify personal finances.
Two key features rolled into one account
1. Card account
The Change Account includes a card account which can be accessed for cash withdrawals and making card purchases and which you can manage online or through a mobile app.
2. Account wallets
The account also has Wallets which are secure budgeting tools. Think of them as two mini accounts alongside Your Card account that you can only manage online or through your mobile app.
What makes it different?
- No Credit Check . Even someone with a bad credit history or who has been made bankrupt could still qualify for a Change Account. The aim is to offer an inclusive product available to everyone.
- There are no penalty charges for missed or late payments.
- There is no overdraft facility which means people can only spend the money they have available in their account, without the risk of incurring interest or other charges.
- Money paid into a Change Account is not vulnerable to a customer’s existing creditors, so it will never be accessed to reduce debts owed to a third party.
- There is a Rewards Programme offering cash back into the account when shopping at a participating retailer.
- There are no branches but you can easily stay in touch online by phone or by post.
Finally, the Change Account is a partnership between Homeless Link and other organisations with an interest in financial inclusion, who will share in the success of the project.
We’re really excited about The Change Account, and think it could make a real difference. If you want to find out more, or to open an account, please visit The Change Account website.
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Director of business and social enterprise
Matt oversees our finances and central services functions and all our income-generation activity, including In-Form and fundraising. He is also responsible for our StreetLink service, a 24/7 website and phone line to enable members of the public to connect rough sleepers to local services. Matt was the chief executive of a specialist information charity that joined with Homeless Link in 2009. His background is in advice centres, day centres and hostels for homeless people in Coventry and London.
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