Following Bristol Pound CIC’s announcement about their partnership with Payji Limited to develop their new platform, we look at what this means for our members and Bristol Credit Union.
This move to the new platform means that digital Bristol Pounds will no longer be backed by or provided by Bristol Credit Union (BCU) but will instead sit on Payji’s e-money platform, with a different regulatory status. This unlocks the potential for some great improvements to services as the new platform is launched.
At the same time BCU has been developing its own online platform so members can manage their money much more easily online, and new members can join to get the services they want even more easily too. As Bristol Pound CIC has set in process its move to the new Payji platform, there has not been a requirement for us to build the historic Bristol Pound systems into our new BCU systems. The date for the shift to the new BCU platform is now fast approaching so we can now let members know about some changes in services as we wind down the current Bristol Pound digital platform to support the move to Payji.
Please note that the current digital Bristol Pound accounts will cease on 21st August 2020.
To provide an orderly wind down and so members have the most notice possible we’re setting out the changes we’re making as follows:
1st June 2020
No new Bristol Pound accounts will be opened on the old digital platform.
4th July 2020
Payments for council tax, business rates, energy bills etc will no longer be available.
10th July 2020
Last date for automatic top up of Bristol Pound accounts on the old platform with BCU.
We will still manually top up accounts on an as & when basis until 7th August, but these could take up to 2 working days to process.
7th August 2020
Last date that app, SMS and online payments except for transfers to sterling will be available.
21st August 2020
Final closure of the Bristol Pound accounts on the old platform.
Once we reach the point of closing the historic digital Bristol Pound system all remaining balances will convert to sterling held with BCU. Once all balances have converted to sterling with BCU they will remain fully protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and will attract future dividend payments in the same way as other sterling deposits with us.
Bristol Pound account holders are very welcome to leave their balance with BCU to support the great work we continue to do right across Bristol, Bath and our wider area. In the last 12 months this has included:
- Saving £2 million a year in interest for people compared to high cost lenders - that’s £400+ in each borrower’s pocket, back into our local economy
- Providing more than £1 million in loans, and supporting almost £1 million of savings in those local neighbourhoods that are in the 20% most deprived in the country.
- Supporting Stir to Action’s New Economy programme.
- Investing in Bristol Energy Co-op and the South Bristol Sports Centre.
- Reacting to Covid-19 by offering our borrowers whatever support they need, and introducing interest free loans for NHS workers.
Alternatively, account holders can of course move their funds to sterling or, more excitingly, consider the new ‘Bristol Pay’ services and open an account on the new platform. Bristol Pound CIC will issue communications in due course setting out easy steps to open a new account on their new platform, and we will share those too.
It’s the end of the beginning chapter for Bristol Pound CIC and this iteration of the Bristol Pound scheme, which BCU has been such an integral part of since long before its launch in 2012. Together we’ve made Bristol Pounds arguably the most successful complementary currency scheme ever in the UK. The new ‘Bristol Pay’ has every chance of delivering on its objectives with as much success as Bristol Pound has had, and we wish them every success for the future.
All Bristol Pound account holders have been notified individually of these changes, and we will issue further reminders of key dates as we move through this wind down process.