Westminster City Council to Deliver Children Services Payments Using Citi Prepaid Services

London - December 9, 2010 – Westminster City Council and Citi, the major U.S. financial institution, have joined forces to offer children aged 16 and over a simple and convenient way to receive allowances and benefits payments such as university maintenance, travel and subsistence payments.

Under the pilot contract Citi will supply Prepaid cards to end users, who will then be able to use them just like any other debit card including via ATMs and for over the counter purchases.

Once the Citi Prepaid card solution has been piloted, Westminster City Council and Citi plan to expand across the Council to cover other potential payment flows. By using Citi Prepaid Services, Westminster City Council will be able to reduce processing costs and make savings in comparison to cash and cheque payments. The Council will continue to control the amount and flow of funds available to end users and will also benefit from standardised management information and control programmes.

Citi’s procurement contract with Westminster City Council has been let under Lot 2 of the Buying Solutions’ Government Procurement Card (GPC) framework agreement. This means that the City Council can participate without the costs of having to manage its own procurements.

Alastair Gilchrist, Strategic Director of Resources, Westminster City Council, said: "We recognise that Citi Prepaid Services is a major national partner to U.K. Public Sector institutions. Citi’s prepaid card solution will reduce our payment costs, and help us better manage our payments process. In addition, Citi’s solution will financially empower our end users by bringing them closer to financial inclusion."

Paul Coen, Head of Citi’s UK Public Sector Group said: "We are delighted that Westminster City Council and Citi have come together to reduce payment processing costs and at the same time provide a better service to the end user. Citi is keenly aware of the budgetary challenges facing the public sector; through this contract we are confident we will be helping Westminster to get more for less."

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. Citi currently provides benefit payment solutions under the Buying Solutions framework to other London councils: Lewisham is using Citi’s Prepaid solution for payments to young people leaving care, and Havering, aligned with twenty nine other councils, will provide a variety of social care payments via Citi's Prepaid card solution.

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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 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.