As the COVID-19 crisis continues to grow, spend management platform Soldo has launched a new solution named Soldo Care to enable governments, local authorities, and NGOs to distribute emergency aid to vulnerable citizens via Mastercard prepaid cards.
The UK-based FinTech startup will start by rolling out the service in Italy. ?Italy was the first European country to enter a state of emergency, and with offices in Milan, we at Soldo experienced the societal impact first-hand,said Carlo Gualandri, CEO at Soldo. ?Traditional food stamps and regular prepaid cards are often too slow and cumbersome to be effective during a crisis such as this. Soldo infrastructure is agile enough to be rapidly adapted to the needs of local authorities. As the pandemic continues to unfold, and hits other nations hard, we want to use our technology in every way possible to support authorities to assist those most in need.p>
The Municipality of Milan, which governs an estimated 1.3 million citizens, has been revealed as the first authority to adopt the cards. It will use the solution to distribute its portion of the Italian government ?400m solidarity fund that has been allocated to support people affected by the crisis. Twenty-one other authorities in the country are set to follow suit.
?We chose to partner with Soldo as it provides a simple solution for us to distribute funds to those in need,said Michele Petrelli, director of social policy at the Municipality of Milan. ?The cards can be used in a wide range of shops, large and small retailers, and we are able to reload the cards with funds, as needed, at no cost which is imperative during this time of crisis.p>
Soldo Care is a smart payment card that can be used immediately at any merchant which accepts MasterCard payments. Soldo boasts that the solution is able t provide a faster, safer, and more secure way of distributing emergency aid compared to paper-based food stamps and can be reloaded as required.
Last year, Soldo raised $61m in its Series B investment round. The raise was led by Battery Ventures and Dawn Capital, with participation from Accel, Connect Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.
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