Opening of the portal for Spend Local card requests

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced that the High Street Scheme application portal is now open. The Minister said: “This is a great day in the roll-out of the High Street program. I am delighted to report that the Spend Local card application portal is now open. ”

The minister once again reminded candidates that the portal will remain open until 25e October and that there will be enough time for everyone to apply for, receive and use their Spend Local card. Applicants can sign up for their card at the High Street Program’s ‘Spend Local’ prepaid card app.

He said:

“About 1.4 million people are eligible to apply for their Spend Local card, so we would expect the portal to be extremely busy for the first few days. This is why it is important to remember that the portal will be open for four weeks and that everyone will have enough time to apply for their card. So please be patient.

The minister reminded applicants to have their key information handy when they come to apply. For verification purposes, all applicants will be asked to provide their name; address; age; kind; disability status; National insurance number; E-mail adress; and phone number.

He said:

“Please make sure you have all the required information handy when you apply, including your National Insurance Number and driver’s license if you have one. There will be enough time for everyone to request, receive and use their Spend Local card. The application portal is robust and ready and it will be able to handle over 1.4 million applications over the four week period. But we expect initial demand to be extremely high. Therefore, by being patient and ready with your information, you will be helping yourself and everyone else.

Minister Lyons also warned people to be wary of scams and stressed that the department will never ask anyone for their personal bank details.

He said:

“Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals who will seek every opportunity to steal from others. It is important to clarify that the Department will never ask for personal bank details from anyone. Anyone who receives a contact that they think is a scam should contact Action Fraud.

The High Street Scheme is part of the Ministry’s Action Plan for Economic Recovery. Its objective is to boost local businesses following the drop in attendance caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Notes to Editors:

The key dates for the deployment of the High Street Scheme

  • September 27 to October 25 – The application portal will be open.
  • Week starting October 4 – The first installment of cards will be issued to those who have successfully applied for the Spend Local Prepaid Card.
  • October 11 – Opening of the telephone service to take charge of applications from people who cannot access or use the online portal.
  • October 25 – The High Street Scheme online portal and telephone services closed.
  • October 25 – the last qualifying date for those who are 18 to apply for a Spend Local card.
  • November 30 – High Street Scheme closes and Spend Local prepaid cards will cease to be valid.

3. From September 27 to October 25, applicants can apply for the Spend Local card through the portal on NI Direct.

For verification purposes to reduce the risk of fraud and error, each applicant will be asked to provide:

  • Name;
  • address;
  • age;
  • kind;
  • disability status;
  • national insurance number;
  • E-mail adress; and
  • phone number.

Applicants will also have the option of including a driver’s license number to enable verification. Once the applicant has completed the registration process, their information will be checked against a number of government databases to verify their identity.

The Department is required under section 75 to monitor the implementation of its policies, which includes collecting data on age, gender and disability.

4. When an applicant receives their card, they will need to verify the card through a computerized phone system or text message and make the first payment using a PIN code, before they can start using it for payments. without contact.

5. Cards can be used at all participating businesses in Northern Ireland. They cannot be used online or for gambling or certain financial and legal services.

6. The hotline will open on October 11th. The late opening of the phone service was implemented to encourage more people to apply online when the portal opens on September 27 and to avoid using the phone line by leaving it available for those who have not. access or cannot use the Internet.

7. The High Street Scheme Spend Local Prepaid Card may be accepted by stores and businesses that may accept credit and debit cards for payment. It cannot be used to purchase goods or services online.

8. Action Fraud can be contacted on 0300 123 2040 or on Action Fraud

9. The Ministry’s economic recovery action plan is available on the DfE website – Economic recovery action plan.

10. The Department may take photos and videos at announcements and events to publicize its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be given to media organizations for advertising purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, on television, on television. radio and electronic media (including social media and the Internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored in the Ministry’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings longer than necessary for the purposes for which they were obtained. The Ministry’s privacy policy is available on our website.

11. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI

12. For media inquiries, contact the press office of the Department of Economics at

13. The Executive Information Service manages a service outside opening hours. for media inquiries only between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. Monday to Friday and weekends and holidays. The permanent press attaché can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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