Building Communities08 Dec 2021

Minderoo Foundation welcomes second Cashless Debit Card issuer and makes recommendations to improve program

The six recommendations from the CDC Technology Working Group include the introduction of multiple card issuers.

Man hands on wallet
Close view of man hands on wallet with credit card. Photo Credit: Rafa Elias via Getty Images.

Minderoo Foundation has welcomed the introduction of a second issuer for the Cashless Debit Card (CDC), as an important step forward in offering more choice and flexibility to participants in the program.

The Traditional Credit Union (TCU) this week begins providing banking services to welfare recipients in the program, importantly allowing them to do all their banking in one place with support across both the Cashless Debit Card and standard transaction accounts.

The TCU will also provide support to Indigenous cardholders, with Indigenous staff members who speak some local Indigenous languages, 12 remote branches, and support centres in Katherine and Darwin.

The introduction of multiple card issuers is one of the key recommendations of the Minderoo CDC Technology Report: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities (CDC Report), which gathered insights from the work undertaken by the CDC Technology Working Group, a collaboration of interested stakeholders led by Minderoo Foundation.

The CDC Report finds that participants who report feeling stigmatised by the CDC, due to a lack of choice in providers and the cards being visibly identifiable in some cases, can be further supported by enabling a diverse array of financial institutions to issue the card.

“Having a choice of a local financial institutions, with which CDC participants may already have an account, will provide a more seamless experience to managing their money,” said Louise Olney, leader of Minderoo Foundation’s Building Communities initiative.

“We applaud the Traditional Credit Union for providing this service, particularly in remote communities,” Ms Olney said.

The CDC Report makes six key recommendations:

  1. CDC Platform Investment: Broaden the range of financial institutions that can issue the CDC and related welfare bank account, to reduce current stigma attached to the card and build further program efficiency and a better user experience.
  2. Product Level Blocking: Acceleration and expansion across all CDC program areas to improve the CDC’s effectiveness by automating the blocking of restricted items, providing more places for participants to use their cards.
  3. BasicsCard Migration: Provide all users of the BasicsCard in the Northern Territory the option to transition to the CDC, with an ultimate goal of 100 per cent uptake in both the Northern Territory and Cape York regions. A single platform, rather than competing welfare delivery systems, will increase program efficiency and assist with future planning, data gathering and implementation of the CDC.
  4. Data Collection and Sharing: Develop an appropriate performance monitoring program to measure the socioeconomic impact of CDC uptake, while protecting the privacy of users.
  5. CDC Functional Requirements: Review the current technology system design behind the CDC, identifying the minimum set of functions it needs to deliver maximum functionality, flexibility, and performance, based on industry standards, best practice and current payment trends.
  6. Legislation: Transition from trial to delivery of world-class welfare payment services – but this will only be achieved in phases over several terms of government.
Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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