London Borough of Havering to Deliver Substantial Savings Using Citi Prepaid Services

London - November 25, 2010 – Havering Council and Citi, the major U.S. financial institution, have joined forces to offer end users simple and convenient ways to receive allowances and benefits, and at the same time the Council will be able to more than halve their existing processing costs for cash and cheque payments.

Havering Council has appointed Citi to supply Prepaid cards to replace cash and cheque payments. Twenty-nine other councils have also joined the framework arrangement and can achieve the same benefits.

Havering already use the system for direct payments of personal budgets. Potential uses for the Prepaid cards include: payments for social care budgets, such as adult social care and personal/individual budgets, asylum benefits, and housing benefits. The London Borough of Lewisham is also using Citi’s Prepaid solution for payments to young people leaving care.

This aggregated procurement has been let under Lot 2 of the Buying Solutions Government Procurement Card (GPC) framework agreement which means that the 29 councils can participate without the costs of having to manage their own individual procurement whilst also benefitting from the aggregated approach.

Citi is the largest supplier of prepaid cards globally and it has designed its systems to cater specifically to the types of payments that councils make, particularly around social care. Under the system councils control the amount and flow of funds available to end users and benefit from standardised management information and control programmes. End users can access funds in several ways including via ATMs and over the counter.

Councillor Roger Ramsey, Cabinet Member for Value said : "We undertook a pilot of the Citi Prepaid solution for several months in a number of payment areas. This proved successful and we now look forward to rolling it out to other payment areas. The Citi’s prepaid card solution will reduce our payment costs associated with our payment processing and make it easier for our customers to receive their monies."

Paul Coen, Head of Citi’s UK Public Sector Group said : "I understand the struggle that local authorities are now going through to find ways of living with reduced budgets. Its great to see Havering and Citi together coming up with something that’s very practical and achieves the objective of offering a better service at substantially lower cost - a benefit worth banking."

Havering worked in partnership with procurement and card specialist Ticon to develop their requirements document for this tender. This procurement procedure won the Outstanding Achievement in Procurement award at the Society of Procurement Officers (SOPO) conference on November 16th.

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About Citi
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.

About Citi® Prepaid Services
Citi Prepaid Services is a leading provider of innovative corporate prepaid solutions. Through a consultative approach, Citi Prepaid provides clients with comprehensive electronic payment programmes that reduce costs, enhance operational efficiencies and provide an unmatched user experience. Leveraging an extensive payment platform and proprietary prepaid technology, clients around the world depend on Citi Prepaid’s custom programmes for all types of payments including compensation, promotions and disbursements. For more information about Citi Prepaid Services, visit www.citiprepaid.com.

About Havering Council
Havering Council is responsible for providing services ranging from libraries, parks, schools, social care and road maintenance to its residents in North East London. The organisation employs over 4,000 people (excluding school staff) and has a turnover of c. £1/2 billion. For more information about Havering please visit www.havering.gov.uk.

About Buying Solutions
Buying Solutions is the national procurement partner for all UK public services and is part of the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group. Its role is to maximise value for money for government departments and organisations across the wider public sector through the efficient procurement and supply of vital goods and services. Buying Solutions delivers best value by aggregating demand, managing the OJEU procurement process and providing ongoing management of framework agreements and other procurement arrangements, thereby saving you time, money and effort. Serving customers in Central Government, the Health sector, Local Government and the wider public sector, we provide access to trusted, EU-compliant framework agreements and other sustainable procurement solutions.

About Ticon
Ticon are a payments and purchasing company that helps public sector organisations to deliver savings from better processes and purchasing. Ticon are payment card specialists and have supported Government organisations, here in the UK and abroad, to deliver better services and lower costs through the use of prepaid cards.