GuardianCard launches virtual card to protect the vulnerable
GuardianCard - a fintech headquartered in Hull, UK, - has launched a virtual card created to safeguard the finances of vulnerable customers.
The card, which provides a solution for vulnerable people open to financial abuse, was created following personal experiences of the fintech's founders.
Aiden McAllister and Nick Thompson both drew on their knowledge of caring for the finances of elderly relatives in conceptualising the card, which acts as a safety net for their daily monetary management.
The former colleagues met when working together at The Phone Co-Op where Thompson was the CEO.
According to an Age Concern UK , an estimated 130,000 people living in the community in the UK have suffered financial abuse at some point since turning 65, with 70% of incidents having been carried out by members of their family.
Estimates suggest that approximately 5.4m people in England act as unpaid carers to friends or relatives, while the number of 'sandwich carers' (those looking after children as well as elderly relatives) is estimated to be 2.4m, and on the rise.
It is hoped that the GuardianCard solution wi ll enable relatives to assist their vulnerable family members in the daily management of their finances, without removing their independence.
The solution operates like a debit card - but allows cardholders to issue a virtual card to helpers or relatives to enable them to pay bills or shop on their behalf. The card also provides total transparency.
The virtual card is attached to an app which also lets the cardholder share details with a trusted family member - and those with power of attorney - who can log in and receive real-time reports on transactions and be notified of any untoward activity.
GuardianCard growth strategy
The fintech, which has received significant investment for the project, launched in July 2020 and plans include growing the membership base to 100,000 by 2025.
GuardianCard has promised to donate 5% of its annual profits to its internal Golden Years Community Project – a platform that supports the older generation and gives its staff members three days off a year to volunteer with a charity of their choice.
Although GuardianCard was primarily conceived as a solution for the vulnerable, its mechanisms are also helpful for families helping their children to manage finances.
The system can issue up to five virtual cards, making it perfect for parents helping out fledgeling children financially too. Spending limits can also be set to restrict transactions from being made in certain retail outlets.
"We know that supporting and caring for an older loved one can be stressful and tiring and there is always the temptation to stick one's head in the sand and avoid some big realities," explained McAllister, who has extensive experience in managing tech solutions for the care industry.
He continued, "Our vision for GuardianCard is to offer a solution to be part of that caring role and provide people with older and vulnerable loved ones a much higher degree of financial security.
"COVID-19 has created a real problem in this industry, in that it has become even more difficult to keep older relatives safe and secure from dodgy scams and fraudulent activity," McAllister added.
Speaking about the new virtual card, Thompson said, "Conversations around finances can be awkward and sometimes avoided altogether. GuardianCard is the perfect way to open up these conversations, allowing older people to retain their independence while providing a safety net to ensure that they are less vulnerable to theft or financial loss."