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Prepaid cards

How a prepaid card works

The card is like a debit card drawing on the money we have paid into your Prepaid card account. The card is widely accepted by traders and care providers.

The card can be used to pay for the support Essex County Council has agreed to in your Care & Support plan following assessment, this can include (but is not limited to) the following:

a) Set up payments to your care agency
b) Payments to your Personal Assistant

  • If you identify other support or services not in your care and support plan once you have been issued with the Prepaid card, then you will need to request a review of that plan. 

Using the card

With the prepaid card you can't:
  • Withdraw cash from a bank or other outlet
  • You will not be able to overdraw
  • You cannot use it as a credit card
  • Pay for any services that do not meet your needs as set out in your support plan
  • You will not be able to buy certain items such as beauty treatments, massages, car rentals, airline tickets, hotel bookings, items from an off-licence.
In addition, it also offers:
  • Easy control of managing the payments for your care and support
  • Easy control of your spending
  • Access to your account balance 24/7
  • Access to support from Allpay Prepaid card Customer Service (8am to 6pm)
  • Up to 3 extra cardholders can be set up if you need help to use the card and buy your care and support; remember that it will be you that is responsible for how anyone else you have made a cardholder uses the card
  • Security - card scheme regulations will apply to protect your funds as soon as your card is reported as lost or stolen.

There is no cost for the card.

Contributing to the cost of your support

If you have been asked to contribute to the cost of your support we will take off the amount you contribute from your direct payment before we transfer the money to your Prepaid card account.

How to apply

Banking regulations require us to complete some identity checks. As Essex County Council is setting up the Prepaid card on your behalf, you will be asked to provide us with:

  • Photo ID to prove your identity
  • Proof of your address
  • Your National Insurance number


Allpay/ Prepaid card Customer Services are available Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm on 0330 808 0102 or 0330 123 2041. Outside of these hours a 24-hour automated service is available.

If you would like to access your Prepaid card account online, you will need to provide us with an email address.

To find out more


Tel: 0333 032 2957


You can only use your prepayment card to purchase the care and support set out in your care and support plan.

Your prepaid card is issued by R. Raphael & Sons plc, pursuant to license by MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Inc. Raphaels Bank is a UK Bank authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (registration number 161302) and is permitted to issue e-money. Head office and registered office at 19-21 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7ED, company registration number 01288938.

allpay administers and services the Prepaid Card on our behalf and is available to give you support if you have any queries or complaints (see Customer Services contact details above).[ allpay Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 02933191 and whose registered office is Fortis et Fides, Whitestone Business Park, Whitestone, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1 3SE.]