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We were interested to hear at a recent meeting that Barclays are launching ‘carers cards’. It means that carers will be able to support those they are helping with shopping and bills, but without the need to share PIN numbers or online banking login details. Barclays decided to introduce the cards following a campaign by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. The charity’s research revealed that half of carers say they know someone else’s bank PIN number. Almost half of all carers help with paperwork and financial matters. For many people this support can make the difference between just managing, and a life in financial difficulty. Yet the current system banks don’t facilitate safe, controlled ways for carers to provide support – leaving many taking significant risks. Polly Mackenzie, Director of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute said:“Our research highlighted the urgent need for safe, practical tools to support carers. We are delighted that Barclays have listened, and hope that other banks and credit providers will follow their lead, recognising that shared financial management is a part of many of our lives.” The cards will come with the ability to limit exactly how and where money can be spent, reducing the opportunity for payments to be questioned as “rogue”. Barclays are hoping to launch the new system this year, introducing the new cards which will be limited to use in certain shops with spending constrained to certain budgets. Watch this space!

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